Title: Norman Rockwell’s AmericanaNorman Rockwell's Americana
Author: George Mendoza
Illustrator: Norman Rockwell
Pages: 54
Recommended Ages: Everyone
Star Rating: ★★★★★

I picked this book up at the last library sale thinking, “Okay, Norman Rockwell, the great painter, hmmm, this will probably be worth paying ten cents for.” I started the book with the same attitude. But as I flipped through the pages, I realized just what a beautiful thing had been done in Norman Rockwell’s Americana ABC.

George Mendoza took twenty-six paintings – one that corresponded with each of the letters of the alphabet. He arranged them on every other page. Then he filled in the extras with short lines describing the paintings…

I am the land as far as I can see, before and after me…

I am your new neighbor and soon we will play together.

I am the wings of an eagle soaring gold…

What I love most about this book is the fact that it took the paintings of a great artist and used them as the illustrations for a children’s read aloud. He didn’t create some sort of art appreciation class where the children’s enjoyment of the paintings could only be in a formal, detached form. Instead he turned the paintings over to the children, invited them to delight in the work without any stuffy words attached to them, just the paintings and nothing more. The children who pore over this book as children will own the paintings in their heart. And I think that’s beautiful.

Conclusion. Great.

Norman Rockwell (2)

Review © 2015 Laura Verret

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