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Just Behave, Pablo Picasso! by Jonah Winter

Just Behave, Pablo Picasso! (edition 2012)

by Jonah Winter, Kevin Hawkes (Illustrator)

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8620140,249 (4.02)None
Title:Just Behave, Pablo Picasso!
Authors:Jonah Winter
Other authors:Kevin Hawkes (Illustrator)
Info:Arthur A. Levine Books (2012), Edition: Hardcover, Hardcover, 48 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:biography, art, Picasso

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Just Behave, Pablo Picasso! by Jonah Winter



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In Just Behave, Pablo Picasso!, a young Pablo Picasso has been in love with painting. The people around him love his paintings as well, but they will not allow Pablo's talent to grow. Tired of being creatively held back, Pablo Picasso starts to paint different images than what he was known for. Picasso's new painting styles are met with anger, but people eventually come around. The illustrations in the book look like paintings; the images are fitting for a book about Pablo Picasso. ( )
  kbartholomew1 | Apr 24, 2015 |
This book is a picture book biography on Pablo Picasso which entails his life before he became an artist. This book shows the hardships any artist will go through when they are trying to make an imprint on the world. There is no one person in this world who doesn't work for things they need or things that they want. Pablo Picasso is an excellent example of how even though one may be in troublesome times, there is nothing that will stand in their way to accomplish their goal. This book portrays harsh criticism Picasso received when he was in the midst of changing his artistic, oil painting styles. A lesson can be learned by reading this book because it shows how even though all odds were against him, he never let their criticism stop him from doing what he wanted. Picasso can also teach children to continue with their originality and to never let someone's opinion change your way or artistry. ( )
  mbabst | Apr 6, 2015 |
At first, I considered that I may have made a mistake when I selected this book in the library. I was looking for books by Jeannette Winter, but instead I stumbled upon this one by Jonah Winter. It was not on my short list of books that I wanted, but it was a book about art; and as my middle school art teacher used to tell me, "Sometimes mistakes can turn into good things." I was intrigued, so on a whim, I checked out this book along with the others I had selected.

"Just Behave, Pablo Picasso!" is a book that looks at Pablo Picasso's early life. It describes his love for painting, and chronicles his metamorphosis from a conventional painter to one who adapted his own style, reviled at first, which came to be known as cubism. The book portrays the initial popular sentiment to cubism as one of shock and antagonism. Regardless, Pablo Picasso rebels against popular sentiment and continues to paint in this style. Jonah Winter does a good job in exploiting this truth to make Pablo Picasso a more relatable figure to children. He uses a playful and humorous tone to describe Pablo's indignation, "All anyone wants is for him to keep painting the same old picture, over and over. Well, guess what? He doesn't want to, he doesn't have to, and he's not going to! HAH!" I can imagine children smiling or giggling just as much as I did when I read this. Jonah Winter has a good feel for his audience, and speaks on their level without speaking down to their level. The writing makes the book enjoyable.

Where I take issue is with this book's authenticity. Penny Colman references this as a common problem in children's books. She says that authors tend to take liberty and blend fact and fiction together. Colman calls such books "blended books" or "edutainment." This particular Picasso book seems to do the same. While describing Picasso's defense of his bizarre new paintings, Jonah Winter says on page 36, "Picasso expands himself to a height of one hundred feet and shouts, 'The chief enemy of creativity is good sense!'." The illustration depicted is a giant, panoramic Picasso that covers both pages 36 and 37. Picasso is shows as being taller than the buildings around him. The "edutainment" continues on the next page, "Suddenly, everyone in Paris opens their windows at once and shouts, Just behave, Pablo Picasso!" Needless to say, I have a hard time believing this actually happened. However, I will have to admit that I laughed when I read these pages; and I am sure that children would be equally amused.

It is because of this blending of fact and fiction that I am rating this book three stars. Otherwise, the book was enjoyable. I will also say that I am glad that I chose this book. For the purposes of this class, it is often said that we should chose award winning nonfiction books, books that have been nominated for or won awards such as the Orbis Pictus. While I definitely agree that the majority of our books should indeed be authoritative in their scope, I also see the value in choosing books like this one. If the only books we choose are good, how will we know what is bad? How can we compare and contrast when we have only good books? I may be in the minority here, but I feel like part of getting a good education is not just about learning what is, but also about learning what is not. Because this book is well meaning, intended for children, and not at all subversive, I could understand teachers using this book in their elementary classrooms; but with a caveat. After reading the book, these teachers should consider asking their small children whether or not they believe the events on these pages actually happened. I say "consider" because I believe this is an area where one should tread lightly. Why?

I believe that for most students, "edutainment" is not education. In the case of small children though, I believe a little bit every now and then is not ideal, but permissible. If you disagree with me, ask yourself this: do teachers, as arbiters of fact, have an obligation to tell these children that their parents are lying to them when they say to them that Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are real? These myths tend to get dispelled by the third or fourth grade, so if we needed to set a cutoff about when to stop such "edutainment," maybe we can start there. ( )
  rdthomps | Mar 12, 2015 |
This book captures the attention of young readers by providing them with expressions beyond their beliefs. Its a tale of when Pablo first started to paint. People loved his work, but when he changed his vision of art he became hated for what he painted. He comes to discover that as long as he is proud of what he does that is all that matters. This book has expressions that jump off the page. The only down side of this book is that it was not very informative to be considered a biography about Picasso. This only described one event in his lifetime. Students will need some form of background knowledge of Picasso in order to truly understand the story told in this children's book. ( )
  amartino1208 | Feb 12, 2015 |
This book is about Pablo Picasso and how he became known around the world. He paints realistic pictures and everyone loves them. They ask to paint 200 more just the same, so he does. He makes a lot of money doing these paintings. Then he gets bored. He doesn't want to paint the same thing over and over again. So he paints something new. The people hate it and try to convince him to go paint to his original painting style. He refuses and keeps painting in the style he chooses. Eventually, people grow to love him again.

Personal Reaction:
This book is a great lesson to do what makes you happy and not what everyone else wants from you. Art comes in many forms. There is no wrong way to design art piece. Follow your dreams and be happy.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. In the classroom, have the children create their own piece of art.
2. You can also have the children write a letter to Picasso explaining how his story inspired them. ( )
  angela.knox | Nov 11, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jonah Winterprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hawkes, KevinIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0545132916, Hardcover)

An inspiration to anyone who's ever felt judged!

"One day the world is a peaceful, lovely landscape painting... The next day - BLAM! - Pablo bursts through the canvas, paintbrush in hand, ready to paint something fresh and new."

Pablo Picasso may have been one of the most famous artists of the 20th century, but that doesn't mean he painted what people wanted him to paint! In fact, some people hated his paintings, and called them "ugly!" and "terrible!" -- something many kids can relate to. But Picasso didn't listen to all those people, and kept on working the way he wanted to work, until he created something so new, so different... that people didn't know what to say!

For every young artist who's drawn something other kids think is "ugly," this story of rebellion and creativity is sure to inspire.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:14 -0400)

"Pablo Picasso may have been a world-famous artist, but that doesn't mean no one ever called his artwork "ugly." Any kid who's been told what to draw, or heard mean things about something they made, will relate to this story about how Pablo faced down his critics and made something truly original."--Jacket flap.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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