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ereksonj

ereksonj

Diego Rivera: His World and Ours - Duncan Tonatiuh I enjoyed the basic outline of Rivera's history, and the parallels Tonatiuh tries to draw between Rivera's early-20th-century material and current material were worth thinking about. As with many other picturebook biographies about visual artists, this book does not stand alone well. It demands familiarity with Diego Rivera, either beforehand or after this introduction. I would not read it with kids without a field trip, a big art book to look at, or a pile of google images.

Tonatiuh's illustration style is engaging, bringing a strong sensibility of flat space and line contours from Aztec art. It was interesting to see him treat current scenes and topics in this style. It still works. But the upshot of Tonatiuh's strong style is that the visuals of this book are more about him than they are about Rivera. I respect the integrity of his decision to avoid the temptation to put a lot of Rivera's works in the book, but the experience of the book cries for exposure to Rivera's painting. A young reader looking at this book might think Tonatiuh's visuals were Rivera's.

The back matter leads readers to a variety of other sources as well as to places where Rivera's work still can be seen live. The back matter was placed on the back end sheets, which is a solution a lot of other authors could be using if back matter is lost because of space.