Cover image for Frida
Winter, Jonah, 1962-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Arthur A. Levine Books, 2002.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 25 x 29 cm
Reading Level:
AD 280 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.5 0.5 56500.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.2 1 Quiz: 27719 Guided reading level: M.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ND259.K33 W56 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area-Biography
ND259.K33 W56 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
ND259.K33 W56 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography

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When her mother was worn out from caring for her five sisters, her father gave her lessons in brushwork and color. When polio kept her bedridden for nine months, drawing saved her from boredom. When a bus accident left her in unimaginable agony, her paintings expressed her pain and depression - and eventually, her joys and her loves. Over and over again, Frida Kahlo turned the challenges of her life into art. Now Jonah Winter and Ana Juan have drawn on both the art and the life to create a playful, insightful tribute to one of the twentieth century's most influential artists. Viva Frida!

Author Notes

Children's author and illustrator Jonah Winter was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1962. He has created many popular books, including works about baseball and biographies of famous individuals including Frida Kahlo, Roberto Clemente, and Barack Obama.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4-8. "Drawing saves her from being sad. . . . Instead of crying, she paints herself crying." This picture-book biography of Frida Kahlo is about the great Mexican painter who transformed her childhood illness and catastrophic injury into art. While the quiet words tell of the struggle with polio that kept Kahlo bedridden for months ("That's when Frida teaches herself how to draw") and of the bus accident that left her always in pain, brilliantly colored, acrylic illustrations, in Mexican folk-art style, show the imaginary animals and mythical creatures that kept her company. One powerful double-page spread is like a fairy tale with the young maiden caught in the thorny branches of a tree spreading across the night sky. The author's note at the end refers to Kahlo's marriage to Diego Rivera, but the focus here is on her youth and her roots. It's great that there's no heavy message. It's the magic realism that shows and tells the richness of the inner life that makes the painter strong and beautiful. --Hazel RochmanReference Books Bulletin

Publisher's Weekly Review

Winter, who brought the Mexican muralist vividly to life in Diego, focuses on Diego Rivera's bride, Frida Kahlo an accomplished artist in her own right in this striking picture book-biography. With a spare narrative more akin to poetry than prose, the author touches on important events in his subject's childhood Frida's loneliness and the polio that kept her bedridden for months, as well as a bus accident, at age 18, that nearly killed her. He then shows how, each time, art helped her to transcend her injuries ("She turns her pain into something beautiful") and to unleash her magically surreal vision of the world in paintings ("In museums, people still look at them and weep and sigh and smile"). Juan, a Spanish fine artist and New Yorker cover artist making her children's book debut, creates artwork bursting with saturated color and infused with Mexican folk art motifs that also influenced Frida's own style. Floating figures, fantastical creatures and celestial bodies with human features cavort across the pages. Ana transforms Frida herself from a solemn, moon-faced child with uncompromising eyebrows (her well-known physical trait) to a woman whose gaunt features hint at both strength and inner struggle. One particularly breathtaking image shows the artist floating against a night sky, eyes closed and arms crossed on her chest in a death pose, held in the grip of a tree's thorny, gnarled branches ("Her body will hurt, always"). An outstanding introduction to an influential artist. Ages 4-10. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-5-This picture-book biography of the Mexican-born artist captures the essence of her difficult life and her triumph as a painter. Written in present tense, the story has immediacy, and the magnificent full-page acrylic illustrations cry out with emotion, as is befitting the work of a passionate artist. Kahlo, often lonely, had an active fantasy life, fueled by her creation of an imaginary friend and her exposure to the work of her artist father. Stricken with polio at age seven, she turned to drawing as her solace; years later when a bus accident nearly claimed her life, art again distracted her. While the simply told yet poignant story is inspiring, the true strength of this book lies in Juan's incredible illustrations. Their brilliant colors and expressionistic style convey the sense of daring and the excitement that Kahlo demonstrated both in her zest for life and in her splendid work. Figures familiar to the artist from Mexican folklore abound and their playfulness as they dance from page to page underscores the woman's artistic spirit. Her story is sure to be an inspiration, particularly to youngsters who see life differently from their peers and who dare to express these differences in artistic ways. A bold, successful attempt at incorporating the feel of the artist's own style into an explanation of her life.-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.