Frida Kahlo loved animals, loved life, and loved to express herself through her paintings.
Title: Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos
Author: Monica Brown
Illustrator: John Parra
ISBN: 9780735842694 Language: English with some Spanish keywords
Title: Frida Kahlo y Sus Animalitos ISBN: 9780735842922 Language: Spanish/español
Classification: Fiction based on historical facts
Themes: artist, painting, perseverance
The illustrations are consistent with Frida’s style and are bright, colourful and engaging. The text is basic with mainly simple sentences.
It was a bit longer than I expected as it is written in paragraph form. It’s not a 100% factual account of Frida’s life.
On the surface this appears to be a great book to use with students about Frida Kahlo – and it is – to a point. If you are looking at introducing her art or Mexican art history to a younger audience (say grade 4) then this would be fine. It’s what a teacher of mine would call a “nice” story – translation: it omits a bit for the point of the story – and in general there is nothing wrong with that because of the intended audience age.
However, if you teach older students and are looking for a way to introduce her factually-wise you will need to pair this book with another. For those of you who are familiar with Frida you will be aware of her rather tumultuous relationship with her husband Diego Riveria; as one would expect, for the age this is aimed at this is not mentioned. Of course, it could be argued the book is more a celebration of her journey through paintings and thus not particularly relevant.
Overall, it’s a good introductory book to Frida’s life and her paintings.
NorthSouth books have produced a book trailer if you would like to see more of the illustrations and style.
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