The Noisy Paint Box – ML’s Favorite Nonfiction Book of 2014

Noisy Paint Box

ML rarely asks me to read a nonfiction book again; and never repeatedly for several nights in a row.  Then, I brought home The Noisy Paint Box:  The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art by Barb Rosentock and illustrated by Mary Grandpre.  Mary Louise couldn’t get enough of this book.

“Vasya Kandinsky was a proper little boy: he studied math and history, he practiced the piano, he sat up straight and was perfectly polite. And when his family sent him to art classes, they expected him to paint pretty houses and flowers—like a proper artist.

But as Vasya opened his paint box and began mixing the reds, the yellows, the blues, he heard a strange sound—the swirling colors trilled like an orchestra tuning up for a symphony! And as he grew older, he continued to hear brilliant colors singing and see vibrant sounds dancing. But was Vasya brave enough to put aside his proper still lifes and portraits and paint . . . music?”

Why should you read this book?
I’m buying ML the book for Christmas. I know it’s a book she’ll treasure for years.  Colorful language surges throughout the book.  The opening illustrations depict the life of “a proper Russian boy” during the mid 1800’s.  As Kandinksy follows his dream, the book’s illustrations transform from realistic to abstract.

You’ll learn something.  At least, I did.  If I knew about Vasya Kandinsky before, it’s buried somewhere deep inside my brain where I can no longer retrieve it.  It is know thought Kandinsky had a genetic condition called synethesia.  “In people with synesthesia, one sense triggers a different sense, allowing them, for example to hear colors, see music, taste words, or small numbers.”  Kandinsky began hearing colors after his Auntie gave him a wooden paint box.

 

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