nonfiction nuggets…a really, really big set of dots

seurat and la grand jatte cover imageSeurat and La Grande Jatte: Connecting the Dots, by Robert Burleigh

Last week I reviewed Rebecca Stead’s latest novel, Liar and Spy. In it, Georges Seurat’s mammoth painting, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884 — features prominently. So I thought it would be fitting to share this lovely book that acts as a sort of tour guide to Seurat’s incredible work.

If you’ve met this painting in person, you know how enormous it is: seven feet high and ten feet la grand jatte george seuratwide, filling an entire wall in the Art Institute of Chicago. Fifty people and an assortment of animals stroll and lounge about the grounds of a Parisian park within its speckled border. 

What are all these folks doing?
Why did Seurat paint this scene as he did?
Why did he use dots of color to create the images?
How long did it take him to create this incredible

a close up of la grand jatte

a close up of la grand jatte

piece of art?

Robert Burleigh leads us conversationally through these and other questions as we explore this work together, helping us notice details we certainly would miss, telling us more about this place, this time period, and the artist himself.  Children ages 6 and up will learn a great deal about this particular painting — I know I did! —  in this keen lesson in art appreciation.

It’s beautifully laid out with large color reproductions of La Grand Jatte and other works, as well as numerous details that let us zoom in on style and content. Included are a brief timeline of Seurat’s life, an Author’s Note, and a glossary of art terms. An excellent guide to this famous painting.