Frida Kahlo: The Revolutionary Painter!

Portable Pr. (Show Me History!). Sept. 2021. 96p. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781645174332.
Gr 3-5–Young versions of the Statue of Liberty (“Libby”) and Uncle Sam (“Sam”) squire viewers through a lively graphic recap of Frida Kahlo’s life of chronic pain and art—tracing especially her successful efforts to escape the large shadow of her husband, Diego Rivera (with whom she had “one of the most famous and spicy relationships in art history”) and be recognized as a powerful artist in her own right. Her force-of-nature personality comes through in Anderson’s cartoon panels as she fiercely battles not just critical condescension but polio, miscarriages, a horrific bus accident in her youth, and other catastrophes in the course of a career driven as much by political activism as by art. Her vivid sense of fashion also shines, and if her marvelously unsettling paintings are only impressionistically rendered by Anderson, tantalized readers will find a select set of leads to multimedia visual resources following the closing time line and gallery of other renowned woman artists.
VERDICT Focusing on the many obstacles with which Kahlo was confronted, this work does a good job outlining the life of a strong, independent woman to emulate.

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