Reviews /

An Artist’s Eyes

Authored by Frances Tosdevin
Illustrated by Clemence Monnet
Published by Frances Lincoln

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An Artist’s Eyes is a delightful book that celebrates creativity and the unique perspectives we all bring to our view of the world. They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and this book brings that saying to life.

At the outset, the reader is invited to look at Mo and Jo’s eyes which look the same but are different. Mo has an artist’s eyes which means that where Jo sees blue, Mo sees ‘a dazzling duck-egg blue, a swirl of peacocks and the inky indigo of evening’. As Mo and Jo continue to walk, Jo’s frustration grows. He just can’t see in that same way as Jo. Gradually, with encouragement from Mo, Jo begins to gain confidence in his own sight. Even though he sees things differently, he is still able to use his artist’s eyes to really see the world around him.

Clemence Monnet’s gorgeous illustrations make this book a visual feast. The glorious colour palette will inspire young artists to explore various hues of red, green, yellow and purple. It would be easy for the illustrations to take centre stage in this book but Frances Tosdevin’s lyrical prose paints its own pictures. The text enhances and complements the illustrations and they work in perfect harmony.

The message this book teaches is an important one. We all have different ways of seeing and this is shaped by our experiences as well as our outlook. If the young children we work with can see themselves as artists, they will be able to see their world fully. I particularly enjoyed Jo’s journey to seeing as an artist. There was no quick transformation and it seems that Jo is seeing differently he loses his temper. This rang true – we can begin to master something and when there is a setback or we don’t make progress as quickly as we want to, we can become angry and want to give up. An important life lesson here that children may empathise with. Perfect to read aloud, this glorious and celebratory book will appeal to budding artists young and old.