A picture book tribute to the iconic Mexican artist reveals how the animals in her life and her personal struggles inspired many of her works of art and how her achievements raised awareness about her indigenous culture and the female form. - (Baker & Taylor)
Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor 2018
ALA Notable Children's Book 2018
New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children's Book of 2017
Barnes & Noble Best Book of 2017
Smithsonian Top Ten Best Children's Book of 2017
2018 Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year
Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos, written by Monica Brown and illustrated by John Parra, is based on the life of one of the world's most influential painters, Frida Kahlo, and the animals that inspired her art and life.
The fascinating Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is remembered for her self-portraits, her dramatic works featuring bold and vibrant colors. Her work brought attention to Mexican and indigenous culture and she is also renowned for her works celebrating the female form.
Brown's story recounts Frida's beloved pets&;two monkeys, a parrot, three dogs, two turkeys, an eagle, a black cat, and a fawn&;and playfully considers how Frida embodied many wonderful characteristics of each animal.  - (Simon and Schuster)
Featuring charming visuals and lively, often lyrical prose, this picture book introduces Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, interweaving biographical details while highlighting her special relationships with pets. From early efforts at painting, to a childhood illness, to school escapades, Brown takes us into Kahlo's adulthood—her developing passion for creating art, her marriage to Diego Rivera, and, finally, her animals. She kept company with spider monkeys, parrots, dogs, turkeys, and much more, and Brown describes each as possessing personalities that reflect Kahlo's own characteristics: "Like her eagle, Frida's imagination could fly high." Rich-hued, folk art–style illustrations incorporate evocative touches, fanciful details, and collagelike compositions. Both the accessible art and text convey a sense of how some of Frida's experiences—and animals—impacted and informed her life and art. Although examples of her actual artwork aren't included, an author's note lists some titles that feature her animals, and provides further biographical information. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.
School Library Journal Reviews
Gr 1–4—Two well-known children's book creators present the life of iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo through the kid-friendly lens of her animal friends. Kahlo's life as a young girl at La Casa Azul was marked by the support of her family, illness, and her "animalitos," or the many pets and creatures that she loved. Each spread introduces a new animal, from Bonito the parrot to her spider monkeys Fulang Chang and Caimito de Guayabal. The text often makes comparisons between the featured critters and the independent, free-spirited girl and budding artist. Throughout, Brown makes references to Kahlo's love of and inspiration by her Aztec culture, which was often seen in her art and evidenced by her pets' names. The picture book biography touches only briefly upon some of the artist's life-changing events, such as the accident she experienced in her teens or her marriage to Diego Rivera, but instead emphasizes the companionship of the animals with which she surrounded herself. Parra's lively acrylic paintings pay tribute to the vibrant hues of Kahlo's paintings, and her ties to her Mexican and Aztec heritage are apparent. A detailed author's note about the subject's life, art, and influence concludes the book and lists the many works in which her animalitos appear. VERDICT This unique and gorgeous take on the famous figure's work will give children an accessible entry point to an important artist. A good choice for picture book biography shelves.—Shelley M. Diaz, School Library Journal
Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.