Review: Claude Monet: The Painter Who Stopped the Trains by P.I. Maltbie
By Tina Vasquez, for The Children’s Book Review
Published: September 29, 2010
By P.I. Maltbie (Author), Jos. A. Smith (Illustrator)
Reading Level: Ages 5-9
Hardcover: 29 pages
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers (2010)
It’s difficult to imagine a time when paintings of a train station could illicit outrage and be considered cutting edge, but in 1800’s Paris artist Claude Monet created quite a stir when in 1877 he painted a series of pictures of the Gare Saint-Lazare, a Paris train station.
As young readers will discover, Monet was a founding member of the impressionist movement, characterized by their bright strokes of color and their focus on everyday scenes rather than events from history, myth, or legend. This is where the controversy comes in, as the focus on modern life was very new and unfamiliar at the time to the public and the critics alike.
At first many were critical of Monet’s artistic style, but it was his train portraits that gained him acclaim and acceptance and in Claude Monet: The Painter Who Stopped the Trains, we learn how the initial inspiration for his series of portraits came from his young son Jean.
This story is as interesting as it is educational and young readers will first be drawn in by the beautiful artwork, but then stay for the story of Monet’s trains.
Add this book to your collection: Claude Monet: The Painter Who Stopped the Trains