Children will find artistic inspiration as they learn about iconic artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera in these imaginative and colorful activities. The art and ideas of Kahlo and Rivera are explored through projects that include painting a self-portrait Kahlo-style, creating a mural with a social message like Rivera, making a Day of the Dead ofrenda, and crafting an Olmec head carving. Vibrant illustrations throughout the book include Rivera's murals and paintings, Kahlo's dreamscapes and self-portraits, pre-Columbian art and Mexican folk art, as well as many photographs of the two artists. Children will learn that art is more than just pretty pictures; it can be a way to express the artist's innermost feelings, a source of everyday joy and fun, an outlet for political ideas, and an expression of hope for a better world. Sidebars will introduce children to other Mexican artists and other notable female artists. A time line, listings of art museums and places where Kahlo and Rivera's art can be viewed, and a list of relevant websites complete this cross-cultural art experience.
"The well-written and interesting text is made even livelier with a colorful, appealing layout." -VOYA
"Children will find artistic inspiration as they explore the world of these iconic artists." -Education Update
"An indispensable learning resource." -The Artist's Magazine on Monet and the Impressionists for Kids
"I felt Frida Kahlo's strength and drive in this book. She always dared to be herself, and it takes a lot of courage, especially for a woman, to break the rules . . . . I learned a lot." -Elna Climent, Painter
"A charming introduction . . . will provide hours of quiet fun." -The Virginian-Pilot
"A good catch for anyone interested in the art of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo." -Kliatt
"Beautiful." -Nashville Parent
"Richly illustrated." -Children's Literature
"An inviting and educational journey." -BC Parent
"This creative, colorful book is healthy inspiration for young artists." -Metro Parent
Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera
Wherever Diego Rivera went, he created a stir. His first
visit to San Francisco in 1930 was no exception. His
fame as a muralist had spread throughout Mexico.
Now a group of art patrons from the United States commissioned
him to decorate their walls, too.
Squeezed into the back of a tiny sports car, he waved his arms
with excitement at what he saw. Anyone watching the green convertible
zip up and down the impossibly steep streets had to smile.
Rivera wore a Stetson hat that made his 300-pound, six-foot frame
seem even larger. It was like sightseeing on a roller coasterit
seemed as if he might fly out of the car at any moment.
The sights he saw were thrilling! Construction workers,
perched high atop steel beams, were building skyscrapers. Small
airplanes crisscrossed above the bay. On the ground, men in overalls
operated machines, while engineers studied blueprints. They
were building San Francisco, and Diego Rivera, the great Mexican
muralist, was there to paint them.
At the bottom of Chestnut Street, one of the steepest streets in
the city, was his mural. It was a large interior wall of an art school.
Rivera covered the wall with a type of mural called a fresco. A
fresco is made by applying paint to damp plaster. As the plaster
dries, the colors bond to it.
Rivera titled his creation The Making of a Fresco Showing the
Building of a City. He included himself in the painting, and his
assistants busy with their tasks. One man spreads fresh plaster
while others measure the wall. In the center sits the master himself,
Rivera. His back is to us, and his plump bottom hangs over the
scaffold. Hes doing what he loves bestpainting a mural.
An Artist Is Born
On December 8, 1886, twin boys were born in the Mexican
village of Guanajuato (gwan-e-HWAT-tow), located in the Sierra
The arrival of two babies caused tremendous excitement in
the household of Seor Diego and Seora Mara Rivera. In the
four years of their marriage, Mara had been pregnant four times.
The first three births ended tragically when she delivered stillborn
(lifeless) babies. Now, the neighbors heard the cries of a newborn
coming from the Rivera home. The doctor came out of the bedroom
and held up two fingers.
Two? There were two babies? Seor Rivera was overjoyed!
But the doctor had more news. It was not good. This time
there had been a different tragedy during delivery. In 1886 it was common for women to give birth at home.
But giving birth was a risk for the mother. Having
twins was an even greater risk.
Diego was the first. His mother bled badly
during his birth. By the time his brother arrived a
few minutes later, Mara had lost so much blood
that she went into a coma. When the doctor failed
to find her pulse, he pronounced her dead.
But a short while after the doctor left, Maras
friend leaned over to kiss her cold forehead and say
good-bye. When she thought she heard Mara
breathing, she cried out. They called the doctor
back for a second opinion.
This time they gave Mara the blister test,
the standard procedure for such a dilemma in
those days. The doctor lit a match and placed it
just beneath her left heel. To his great surprise,
a blister formed. This wouldnt have happened
if his original diagnosis had been correct. The
babies mother was alive! Eventually she made a
The City of Silver
Riveras parents were well-educated schoolteachers
who met in Guanajuato. His mother was a small
woman of Spanish and native Mexican heritage.
His father was a large black-bearded man whose
ancestors came from Europe. Riveras grandfather moved to Mexico from Spain.