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Grade 2-10cm this delightful tale of modern artists, a porky Pigasso and a bullish Mootisse start out as neighbours but end up feuding when they start criticising one another's work. Now rivals, they transform their farms into bold works of art and then build a fence between the properties. However, the painters find that they miss one another's company and they each paint an apology on the fence-paintings that wow the critics and make the two fast friends. Based loosely on the real-life relationship between Picasso and Matisse, Laden's tale is a wonderful tribute to these exceptional talents and to the concept of accepting the ideas of others. The story is fast paced, packed with humour, and filled with clever wordplay. The bold acrylic paintings perfectly capture the duo's volatile temperaments and different artistic styles; they are fun to look at and reinforce the lighthearted mood of the text. Bound to entice its audience to learn more about these painters, this title is a sure bet for any children's collection. Use it in conjunction with Kathleen Krull's Lives of the Artists (Harcourt, 1995) or appropriate entries in Ernest Raboff's "Art for Children" series (Doubleday).
Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Nina Laden grew up in the New York City area. The daughter of two artists, she studied illustration at Syracuse University. She is the author and illustrator of The Night I Followed the Dog, also published by Chronicle Books.