By Barb Rosenstock, Illustrated by Mary Grandpre
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $17.99, 32 pages
The illustrations stand out in The Noisy Paint Box but the story is one your child will remember, too. Vasya Kandinsky spent his days as a very proper Russian boy. He studied math, science and history. Everyone in his world was stiff and polite. One day, his aunt gave him a paint box. As Vasya painted, he heard sounds. He told his parents about the sounds and they told him to stop being foolish. He continued to paint the sounds of the colors but his paintings did not conform to expectations, so he put away the box and became a lawyer. One day when he went to the orchestra, the music spoke to him from the colors in the paint box. He decided he would not be proper any longer and quit his job to paint. After many obstacles, he made people understand that paintings should make people feel. This became abstract art. The Noisy Paint Box is a story with many lessons for your little readers, including follow your dreams and don’t listen to the naysayers. The illustrations will certainly mesmerize your child and the story will give parents many opportunities to talk about life lessons.
Reviewed by Seniye Groff