Picasso and Minou.
Picasso and Minou. P.I. Maltbie (illustrated by Pan Estrada),
Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge, 2005. Illus., hardcover, 32 pp., $15.95.
Minou is a cat, a sleek Siamese, who lives with a young Picasso in
Paris. We see them first in a studio piled high with paintings, which we
recognize as those from the artist's Blue Period. All the paintings
depicted in the following adventures are based on actual works. The
Parisian street scenes are based on reality as well, although all are
created in mixed media by Estrada. His scenes tell an intriguing story
filled with circus folk, friends of Picasso, and historical Paris. There
is a definite lighthearted quality to the illustrations, and lively
characters, perhaps more caricatures than portraits. Extra enjoyment
comes from the effort to identify the many artworks and to find the cat
in each scene. Clearly the story here can only hint at the details of
Picasso's career--his shift from the melancholy blue to the more
up-beat rose--but the book is a happy addition to the resources used in
any study of the artist for elementary and older youngsters.