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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by Ma Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Age Range: 6-8
This short illustrated picture book biography of the artist Frida Kahlo is part of the 'Little People, Big Dreams' series from Frances Lincoln. Born in Mexico in 1919 Kahlo contracted Polio when she was six leaving one leg skinnier and weaker than the other. In 1925 another tragedy struck when she was involved in a bus crash suffering multiple injuries resulting in her being unable to walk. This accident changed Kahlo's life for ever. While recovering and spending a lot of time in bed, she took up painting, mainly pictures of herself. Once Kahlo had recovered she continued to paint and her future husband the famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera was a great supporter of her work.
This lovely, simple retelling of Kahlo's life by Spanish author Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara, translated by Emma Martinez, is inspiring. Kahlo's self-portraits show her pain and grief but also her passion for life and the bold, colourful illustrations by Gee Fan Eng really reflect the colourful artwork Kahlo did herself and brings the story to life of one of the most famous artists of the twentieth century.
There is a useful facts and photo section featured at the back of the book charting Kahlo's life. Another title in the series is Coco Chanel is also reviewed on the Outside In World website.