Review: Draw What You See

Posted on February 2, 2015

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February is Black History Month

In observance of Black History Month, Advice from a Caterpillar spotlights new releases in nonfiction picture books that celebrate achievements of African Americans and the heroic deeds of two Africans who changed the world. In this first selection readers are introduced to American artist Benny Andrews through his paintings.

Draw See cover2Draw What You See: The Life and Art of Benny Andrews
Written by Kathleen Benson
Illustrated by Benny Andrews
Clarion Books
January 2015
32 pages

Author Kathleen Benson uses the vibrant paintings of artist Benny Andrews to illustrate his story. And what a story it is. As a child Benny loved to draw the world around him. One of ten children, Benny’s parents worked as sharecroppers in the cotton fields near Plainview, Georgia. His love for art and school helped him overcome a difficult childhood and graduate high school. From there, Benny pursued his goal to go to art school in Chicago. Because of his unique ability to vividly portray African American culture and history, Benny’s paintings made him famous. As a respected artist and teacher he raised awareness of civil rights issues and social justice. Benny Andrews’ fifteen colorful and captivating paintings, including two dazzling two-page spreads, by themselves are worth the price of admission. His story is an inspiration to budding artists everywhere. Draw What You See: The Life and Art of Benny Andrews is an art treasure.

Copyright (c) 2015 by Peggy Tibbetts

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