The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse

by Patricia MacLachlan

Other authorsHadley Hooper (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2014



Local notes

921 MAT




Roaring Brook Press (2014), 40 pages


If you were a boy named Henri Matisse who lived in a dreary town in northern France, what would your life be like? Would it be full of color and art? Full of lines and dancing figures? Find out in this beautiful, unusual picture book about one of the world's most famous and influential artists by acclaimed author and Newbery Medal-winning Patricia MacLachlan and innovative illustrator Hadley Hooper.


Original language


Physical description

40 p.; 9.31 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member melodyreads
simple story; author's note at end tells enough about Matisse to make the story stand out as important information.
LibraryThing member JessicaLeupold
This book is a must have for art lessons. This book would be marvelous for teaching color theory. Too often children will say the sky is blue if you ask them what color it is, but if you really look the sky is not just blue, it is gray and yellow and white, not simply blue. The Iridescence of Birds
Show More
is illustrated wonderfully, and the limited text helps create the overall feel of the story.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Sullywriter
A beautiful, rich, poetic portrait of the nurturing of creativity.
LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
Lovely.  The poetry of MacLachlan's words, the concept and design of the book, and the art that is evocative of Matisse's work but not a copy of it (except for a few bits that very much are, of course) bring the fauve master to life like no other learned explanation in a history of art that I've
Show More
ever read.  If you've ever felt anything remotely like I wish I understood modern art better" you will appreciate, and enjoy, this gem.  *All* ages, even the littlest, can appreciate this on some level."
Show Less
LibraryThing member Whisper1
Every time I read a book by this author, I am transported to a magical place. In this story, the reader learns of the impact the mother of the artist Henri Matisse had on his life. Poor in money, but rich in spirit, love and creativity, Henri's mothers used bright colors which she painted on dishes
Show More
that were then hung on the walls.

In addition, she hung bright read rugs on the walls and dirt floors of their house in Northern France. It was exceedingly cold in that part of France. His mother found a way to make the house cozy and warm.

As he grew and became an impressionist painter, his colors were those used by his mothers, bright yellow and blue of her tablecloth, lovely colored flowers and fruit that was placed on the table to augment the tablecloth.

The people in the area of Northern France were silk weavers, and here too Henri was influenced by the colors of the fabrics. When a young boy, Henri raised pigeons and noticed the multicolored, iridescent colors of their feathers when the sun shone on them. He watched their sharp eyes and red feet.

Henri grew to be a painter who used lush, bright red colors and he also painted red rooms, flowers with long green stems, and fruit on a bowl on a bright tablecloth, again another way in which his mother's beauty impacted on him throughout his life.

Four Stars
Show Less
LibraryThing member fuzzi
A book that is very pleasing to the eye, especially to those of us who appreciate art!






(38 ratings; 4)
Page: 0.2597 seconds