Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Non-Fiction
Diego Rivera: His World and Ours

Diego Rivera: His World and Ours

Spring 2011 Non-Fiction
Ages: 5 - 9 yrs.
Author: Duncan Tonatiuh
ISBN: 9780810997318
Hardcover Price: $16.95

For a long time, Latino children’s books seem to have been stuck in a cookie-cutter “folklorico” style. In Diego Rivera, Duncan Tonatiuh makes a departure by using well known figures by painter Diego Rivera (where personae from ancient Mayan and Aztec murals were reshaped by Rivera and his modernist sensibility) and then goes them one better by reshaping them once more into figures for children. In his second departure, Tonatiuh then takes scenarios from Rivera’s well known paintings and reimagines them in contemporary times. Rivera’s early twentieth-century scene of four factory workers on a production line gets re-envisioned (in visually similar terms) as four kids at computer terminals in a school library. This is twice clever. This offering goes beyond homage to its titular painter: It shows that Tonatiuh has brilliance enough to shine as an artist on his own.

Jerry Griswold   ©2011 Parents' Choice

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Abrams Books for Young Readers

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