The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau

by Dianne White on September 25, 2012

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THE FANTASTIC JUNGLES OF HENRI ROUSSEAU by Michelle Markel, illustrated by Amanda Hall.

“Henri Rousseau wants to be an artist. Not a single person has ever told him he is talented … But he buys some canvas, paint, and brushes, and starts painting anyway.”

Can you imagine? A toll collector, with no formal training, Rousseau begins his painting career at the age of forty. He goes to the Louvre and examines the work of other artists. He studies photographs and illustrations, teaches himself anatomy, and walks the streets of Paris collecting ideas for his paintings. Each time he enters an art exhibition, Henri is hopeful. But, year after year, the art experts make fun of him. Some even say his work “looks like he closed his eyes and painted with his feet.”

THE FANTASTIC JUNGLES OF HENRI ROUSSEAU is the beautifully told and inspirational story of a man who came to his dream later in life. His passion fueled his work, and saw him through the years when other, more prominent painters, mocked his “naïve” style. It’s as much a story for young budding artists, as it is an inspiration to us all to follow our dreams.

Markel’s words sing and Hall’s lush illustrations draw the reader into Henri’s world of far-away jungles, a world he imagined and created without ever leaving Paris! Take a peek and enjoy the trailer. Then share THE FANTASTIC JUNGLES OF HENRI ROUSSEAU with the ReaderKidZ in your life!

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