Got an email from my editor at Henry Holt today sharing two great reviews that were published about my new book coming out in September called An Eye for Color: The Story of Josef Albers. I’m very pleased that both reviewers got what I was doing with the story and enjoyed the backmatter as well. Teachers will really love that part. So if you know any teachers who might be interested in my book, pass this along, thanks! This is a photo of Josef Albers taken by his friend and photographer Jon Naar.
July 15, 2009
Wing, the author of mass audience favorites (The Night Before the Tooth Fairy, 2003, etc.), takes an aesthetic leap forward in this sophisticated and engaging account of an artist and color theorist whose name is unknown to most young people. Albers, part of the German Bauhaus Movement, immigrated to the United States and was one of the leaders in the shift of art’s intellectual center from Europe to the States. His pioneering and extensive work on the interaction of colors continues to influence fine art and graphic design today. The author grew up down the street from Albers and brings warmth and sensibility to her subject, succeeding in making the life and work of this fascinating man both comprehensible and accessible for art lovers of all ages. Strikingly illustrated by the award-winning graphic artist Breckenreid (in an admirable picture-book debut) and supported by terrific, inclusive backmatter, this will prove a must-have for museum shops as well as school and public libraries hungry for handsome and unique art books. (Picture book/biography. 6-9)
July 1, 2009
Best known for her long-running The Night Before series for young children, Wing explores very different territory in this picture-book biography of artist Josef Albers. Moving quickly through Albers’ youth, Wing focuses on the artist’s famous work with color theory, which he began at age 61. The text and Breckenreid’s gouache illustrations don’t always mesh successfully. An abstract image of Albers lecturing about optical illusions, for example, is more whimsical than accessible. In addition, younger students may need help grasping the meaning of a few of Albers’ direct quotes, woven throughout the text, such as his charge to “watch what’s going on . . . and capture the accident.” What works best are the spreads devoted to Albers’ artistic experiments. Set against pure white backgrounds, the forms in saturated hues ably demonstrate how colors recede, advance, and shift in mood when placed in proximity to one other. An expanded biographical spread and comprehensive glossary with a color wheel greatly enhance this unusual effort, which closes with hands-on projects that explore color theory.
— Gillian Engberg