Written by Robert Burleigh; Illustrated by Wendell Minor
Published October 1st 2019 by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
ISBN 1442496711

A Junior Library Guild Selection

K-Gr 2—Unlike other biographies narrated in the first person, this engaging book about artist Norman Rockwell asks questions and forms a solid connection between reader and narrator. Burleigh chronicles Rockwell's life in snapshots that correspond with different events in American history; for instance, the author asks, "What is an artist to do when war comes?" and responds by detailing the history of The Four Freedoms, one of Rockwell's most famous works, based on a speech given by Franklin Roosevelt during World War II. Though rendered in Minor's style, the illustrations mimic Rockwell's work. VERDICT This important addition to biography collections is aimed at young readers with little to no knowledge of the artist. It will interest and hopefully inspire early elementary students who love art.—Kristen Todd-Wurm, Middle Country Public Library, NY

The iconic American illustrator welcomes readers into his home and life.
“Hi, I’m Norman. Norman Rockwell. Come on in.” The creator of over 320 covers for the Saturday Evening Post speaks directly to readers, inviting them into his studio and on to a tour of other studios in his life—his dining room when he was young, neighborhood streets, classroom blackboards, and art school. ... Minor uses watercolor, gouache, and pencil to effectively render many of Rockwell’s sketches and paintings and, except for Ruby Bridges, Rockwell’s all-white world.
An inviting and admiring introduction to an important American artist. (further biography, author’s note, illustrator’s note, list of paintings rendered, timeline, reproductions) (Picture book/biography. 5-10)

Folksy geniality infuses this picture book biography of a beloved U.S. artist. Framed as a first-person recollection, Rockwell welcomes readers into his studio and shares the story of his life, tracing how his childhood love of “telling stories with pictures” stayed with him as he grew up and found success creating covers for the Saturday Evening Post. Burleigh’s conversational, approachable tone (“Was I nervous? Are you kidding? My heart was pounding like a sledgehammer”) pulls readers along as Rockwell’s narration wends through amusing anecdotes (corralling a turkey model) and serious themes: addressing WWII in his Four Freedoms series, and putting U.S. racism on the front page with The Problem We All Live With. Minor’s accomplished watercolor, gouache, and pencil illustrations capture key moments in Rockwell’s life and process with snapshot charm. Supplemental material includes an author’s note, artist’s note, Rockwell paintings and quotes, timeline, and bibliography. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)

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