Review: The Noisy Paint Box

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The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art

Author: Barb Rosenstock

Illustrator: Mary Grandpré

Published in 2014 by Knopf Books for Young Readers

The Noisy Paint Box tells the fascinating story of Vasya Kandinsky, one of the first artists who was bold enough to defy traditional expectations and share his abstract art. As a young boy, he was raised to be proper and polite. He practiced piano and he studied math, science, and history. Inspired by a paint box gifted to him by his aunt, he started taking art classes. He soon grew tired of having to live up to the expectations of other people, requiring that he paint traditional portraits and landscapes. When he worked with his paint box, he heard incredible, vibrant colors making music. He was inspired to paint the beautiful music he heard and the authentic emotion he felt rather than the proper works everyone expected of him. His courage to share art that was meaningful to him empowered other artists to share their abstract art as well. This book is full of colorful, vivid artwork that brings the story to life and makes the illustrations sing and dance across the pages.

Notable Quote:

“Art should make you feel,” Vasya told them. “Like music.”

Additional Resources:

Kandinsky Biography, Art, and Analysis:

Kandinsky Biography and Collection at The Guggenheim:

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