Cover image for Diego Rivera : his world and ours
Diego Rivera : his world and ours
Tonatiuh, Duncan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2011.
Physical Description:
33 pages : color illustrations ; 27 cm
An introduction to the life, career, and influence of the Mexican painter Diego Rivera.
General Note:
"Printed and bound in China"--T.p. verso.

"The artwork in this book was hand-drawn, then collaged digitally."--T.p. verso.
Reading Level:
Elementary Grade.

1040 Lexile

AD 1040 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader 4.9

Reading Counts! 5.3

Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.9 0.5 144067.

Reading Counts RC K-2 5.3 1 Quiz: 53797.
Added Corporate Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ND259.R5 T57 2011 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography

On Order



This charming book introduces one of the most popular artists of the twentieth century, Diego Rivera, to young readers. It tells the story of Diego as a young, mischievous boy who demonstrated a clear passion for art and then went on to become one of the most famous painters in the world.

Duncan Tonatiuh also prompts readers to think about what Diego would paint today. Just as Diego's murals depicted great historical events in Mexican culture or celebrated native peoples, if Diego were painting today, what would his artwork depict? How would his paintings reflect today's culture?

Diego Rivera: His World and Ours is a wonderful introduction to this great artist.

Praise for Diego Rivera
¬ę "By establishing a link between modern readers and Rivera and challenging them to "make our own murals," the author makes art both aspiration and action. Both solid introduction and exhortation, this book will thrill budding artists." - Kirkus Reviews , starred review

"Kids will want to talk about the great painter, and young artists will find inspiration for their own creations." - Booklist

Author Notes

Duncan Tonatiuh was born in Mexico City and grew up in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. He is a recent graduate of Parsons the New School for Design in New York City, where he studied writing and illustration. His first book, Dear Primo, was published in spring 2010. He divides his time between New York City and Mexico.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In this illustrated biography, Tonatiuh introduces Diego Rivera and shows how the Mexican artist drew on the history of his people for his murals, which combined ancient Mexican art with modern styles. Then Tonatiuh asks a crucial question: What would Rivera paint if he were alive today? Would he paint the bustle of city life. Would he paint the way we play. Working in his own blend of styles, working motifs borrowed from ancient Mexican art into contemporary images, the pictures show kids on busy city streets with laptops and cell phones, scooters and rollerblades, shopping at the mall. A long author's note fills in more about Tonatiuh's inspiration and his technique, drawing first by hand and then creating digital collages. With only one reproduction of Rivera's work, this title won't give young people much sense of Rivera's style, but kids will want to talk about the great painter, and young artists will find inspiration for their own creations.--Rochman, Haze. Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Suggestive of stained glass windows, Tonatiuh's mixed-media collages combine ancient Mexican art motifs with blocky, stylized figures, to pay tribute to this versatile artist. Rivera paired classical and modern techniques with traditional Mexican aesthetics to create socially and politically relevant murals. Tonatiuh invites readers to speculate about what Rivera might paint if he were alive today-"would he paint students at their desks... just as he painted factory workers in the production line?"-while creating vignettes whose symmetries draw further connections between past and present. Tonatiuh's biography celebrates Rivera, but focuses on the inspiration driving artistic expression in his time and in our own. Ages 5-9. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-Tonatiuh relates key moments in the famous muralist's life and ponders what would capture his interest if he were alive today. The stylized brown figures are shown in profile with open mouths, exaggerated features, and heads that seem hinged to the bodies. With only one page mentioning the subject's childhood (in which the young artist is wearing a hat and suit as he draws near his toys), the text concentrates instead on how Rivera internalized traditional and modern styles while studying art in Europe, absorbed the aesthetics of ancient Mexican civilizations after returning home, and then applied his training to local politics and culture. In scenes both thoughtful and humorous, Tonatiuh contrasts interpretations of Rivera's work with renderings of imagined work today. A contemporary mall scene faces the flower vendor with calla lilies. Dynamic, brightly lit luchadores (professional wrestlers) are paired with a scene of Aztec warriors and conquistadores. Back matter includes a glossary of words/concepts in sequence, an author's note, selected sites for viewing the murals, and a list of specific works that inspired the cartoonlike art. Students looking closely will note that some of Rivera's historical paintings include brown figures, in profile, mouths open. The original murals can be found along with biographical details in Mike Venezia's Diego Rivera (Children's Press, 1995) and in Guadalupe Rivera Marin's highly personal My Papa Diego and Me/Mi papa Diego y yo (Children's Book Press, 2009). An inspired approach that combines child appeal, cultural anthropology, and art history.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.