Cover image for The boy who loved to draw : Benjamin West
Title:
The boy who loved to draw : Benjamin West
Author:
Brenner, Barbara.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1999.
Physical Description:
42 unnumbered pages ; 19 x 27 cm
Summary:
Recounts the life story of the Pennsylvania artist who began drawing as a boy and eventually became well known on both sides of the Atlantic.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
400 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.4 0.5 34644.

Reading Counts RC K-2 4.1 2 Quiz: 19121 Guided reading level: O.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780395850800
Format :
Book

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ND237.W45 B74 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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ND237.W45 B74 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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ND237.W45 B74 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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ND237.W45 B74 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
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Summary

Summary

When Benjamin West was seven years old, the only thing in the world he wanted to do was draw pictures. For a time, that got him into a peck of trouble. Papa wasn't pleased when Benjamin "borrowed" his best quill pen. Mama wasn't happy that Benjamin would rather sketch the cows than milk them. And Grimalkin, the family cat, was not keen on being the source for paintbrush hairs! Truth was, there was nothing Benjamin cared more about than art, and that led him to some surprising adventures. Here, in lively easy-to-read words and vivid pictures, is the engaging true story of Benjamin West, the farmboy from colonial Pennsylvania who grew up to become the first world-famous American artist and a friend to Benjamin Franklin and the king of England.


Author Notes

Barbara Brenner was born on June 26, 1925, in Brooklyn, New York. Brenner attended Seton Hall College and Rutgers University from 1942-46, while also working as a copy editor at Prudential Insurance Company. Her freelance work as an artist's agent prepared her for a literary life. In 1957 she published her first book, Somebody's Slippers, Somebody's Shoes. She followed this book with an educational picture book entitled Barto Takes the Subway, designed to improve reading comprehension and sight vocabulary.

Her artistic development continued when she began to collaborate with her husband, illustrator Fred Brenner, on The Flying Patchwork Quilt. Her next book, On the Frontier with Mr. Audubon, was selected by School Library Journal as The Best of the Best among children's books published over 26 seasons. One of her bestselling titles was Wagon Wheels (published in 1978), which deals with the trials and tribulations of a close-knit African American family. In 1986, Brenner was honored with the Pennsylvania School Librarians' Association's Outstanding Pennsylvania Author Award. Brenner's most celebrated book is a collection entitled Voices: Poetry and Art from around the World, for which she was chief editor. This book received an ALA Notable Book for Children mention and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults award.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 6^-8. Based on the autobiographical writings of colonial artist Benjamin West, this story introduces young Benjamin, who began drawing at the age of seven, using a forbidden tool: his papa's goose quill pen. Scolded for that offense, but praised for the excellent likeness of his baby niece, Benjamin continues to make pictures. Friendly Indians show him how to make paint, his cat unwillingly contributes fur for brushes, and his parents send him, at the age of nine, to learn from an artist in Philadelphia. Each page of West's story faces a painting with simplified forms, subdued colors, and pleasing composition. Naive in style and reminiscent of some colonial art, the illustrations present clear visual expressions of the activities and emotions related in the story. The last pages include a summary of West's adult life, small reproductions of three of his paintings, suggestions for where to see his work, and brief source notes for this book. A fascinating look at art in colonial times, and a likable portrait of the artist as a young boy. --Carolyn Phelan


Publisher's Weekly Review

In a starred review, PW called this an "innovative picture/chapter book hybrid that vividly brings to life the childhood of the noted American painter. The author makes West easy to like, giving equal emphasis to his singular passion for art and to the qualities he has in common with readers." Ages 5-8. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-This simply told picture-book biography introduces the story of Benjamin West, who is often referred to as the father of American art. Born in 1738, the 10th child of the Pennsylvania Wests, he began drawing at a very young age. He learned about color from local Indians, and he learned about "hair pencils" (paintbrushes) from a traveler. Since he couldn't obtain any of his own, he made them with hairs from the family cat, Grimalkin. Realizing their son's potential, Benjamin's parents sent him to Philadelphia to study with a real artist. The trip changed his life. Dunrea's folk-style gouache paintings incorporate period architecture, furnishings, and handicrafts. The pictures are framed with thin black lines, giving the book a formal appearance. This is a fine introduction to artists and the Colonial period.-Kathleen Staerkel, Indian Trails Public Library District, Wheeling, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.