by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand
School Library Journal Gr 5-9-This treatment of the Mexican muralist is a companion piece to Bernier-Grand's Frida (2007), but bears more resemblance to the author's Cesar: Si, se puede! (2004, both Marshall Cavendish). All three titles employ free verse, but Frida's story is told visually through her own art; Diego and Cesar exhibit Diaz's stylized digital and mixed-media compositions, his recognizable figures rendered in profile, with a prominent, single eye. Diaz is in top form here with luminous scenes drenched in color, layered with indigenous and political motifs, and sensitive to the various art styles his subject explored. However, only four reproductions of Rivera's work are included, which barely scratch the surface. That said, author and artist provide a nuanced and spirited look at a complex individual. Bernier-Grand's first-person poems introduce Rivera as storyteller, one who proceeds to spin true and fabricated details. Fact and fiction are sorted in the meticulous end matter, which includes a biographical overview, sources, endnotes, quotations by the artist, and a photograph. One emerges with a sense of Rivera's genius, devilish personality, and struggles both in relation to accepting financial support from oppressive governments and in his capacity to be, by turns, self-centered or tender with the many women and children in his life. Young people will be surprised and entertained by this accessible, arresting portrait.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list *Starred Review* In this well-written and beautifully illustrated volume, the life of Mexican artist Diego Rivera, best known for murals depicting working people, is introduced in free verse. Similar in format to Bernier-Grand's Cesar: Sí, se puede! = Yes, We Can! (2004) and Frida: Viva la vida! Long Live Life! (2007), the book offers a chronological sequence of poems, each appearing either on a single page accompanied by a small illustration or on a left-hand page with a full-page picture on the right. Almost all written in first person from the artist's point of view, the poems convey information succinctly within a context of colorful narrative and clearly expressed emotion. Each poem stands alone, yet some words, ideas, and images recur, creating an interconnected sequence. A three-page appended biography clarifies and amplifies the information in the verse. Also appended are a glossary, a chronology, a source bibliography, notes, and quotes from the artist. Apart from four reproductions of Rivera's paintings and one photo of the artist, the illustrations are mixed-media pictures by Diaz. Depicting Rivera and his world, these iconic images glow with warmth, light, and color. In the backgrounds, some scenes incorporate imagery from Aztec art, which Rivera collected. A lively verse portrait illuminated with incandescent illustrations.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2009 Booklist
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