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Action Jackson Reprint Edition
Contributor(s): Greenberg, Jan, Jordan, Sandra, Parker, Robert Andrew (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0312367511     ISBN-13: 9780312367510
Publisher: Square Fish
    OUR PRICE: $8.09  
Product Type: Paperback - Other Formats
Published: April 2007
Annotation: This picture book profiles abstract artist Jackson Pollack, concentrating on the period when he created one of his most famous pieces, "Number 1, 1950 (Lavender Mist)." Includes an extensive Afterword, photos of Pollack at work, and quotes from his friends and colleagues. Ink & watercolor illustrations.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Painters; United States; Biography; Juvenile literature.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Art
Dewey: 759.13
LCCN: bl2007008740
Lexile Measure: 650
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 1-2, Age 6-7
Book type: Easy Non Fiction
Physical Information: 10.50" H x 10.00" W x 0.25" (0.35 lbs) 32 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 65164
Reading Level: 5.2   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 0.5
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Publisher Description:
One late spring morning the American artist Jackson Pollock began work on the canvas that would ultimately come to be known as Number 1, 1950 ("Lavender Mist").
Award-winning authors Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan use this moment as the departure point for a unique picture book about a great painter and the way in which he worked. Their lyrical text, drawn from Pollock's own comments and those made by members of his immediate circle, is perfectly complemented by vibrant watercolors by Robert Andrew Parker that honor his spirit of the artist without imitating his paintings.
A photographic reproduction of the finished painting, a short biography, a bibliography, and a detailed list of notes and sources that are fascinating reading in their own right make this an authoritative as well as beautiful book for readers of all ages.

Contributor Bio(s): iv>Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan are the authors of several distinctive books about art including Chuck Close: Up Close (A Boston Glove-Horn Book Honor book for Non-Fiction and winner of the Norman O. Sugarman award for Biography); and Frank O. Gehry: Outside In. All are either ALA Notable Books for Young Adults or Best Books for Young Adults. Their most recent collaboration, Vincent Van Gogh: Portrait of an Artist, was named a 2002 Sibert Award Honor Book. Ms. Greenberg, whose poetry anthology Heart to Heart was named a 2002 Printz Award Honor Book, lives in St. Louis. Ms. Jordan, whose photographic picture book Frog Hunt was published by Roaring Book Press, lives in New York City.

Robert Andrew Parker who knew Jackson Pollock as a young man, is a fine artist and printmaker whose work often appears in publications such as The New Yorker. The illustrator of the Modern Library's edition of Stendhal's The Charterhouse of Parma, his numerous children's books include Grandfather Tang's Story, Sleds on Boston Common, and Cold Feet, winner of the 2002 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2003 Spring)
The trio of collaborators presents the complex, reserved artist Jackson Pollock with few words and large watercolor and pen illustrations. What Pollock paints is shown minimally with a few strokes; the focus is the figure of the painter stretching his body across the canvas. Additional biographical information and extensive notes are appended. This is a book with the energy and expression to match its subject. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2002 #6)
Picture books about artists are full of pitfalls. Will an illustrator attempt to re-create the style of a famous painter? Will he mix reproductions with illustrations, risking a cluttered design? Will the author make the subject more "accessible" by creating a child protagonist or a fictional child-friendly plot? In Action Jackson, the trio of collaborators nimbly avoids these hazards as they present the complex, reserved artist Jackson Pollock using few words and large watercolor and pen illustrations. What Pollock paints is shown minimally with a few strokes, allowing the focus of these scenes to be the figure of the painter stretching his body across the canvas. Even when the artist is sitting quietly on the dunes, Parker's gestural style and quick improvisational line implies that Pollock's mind is as active as the gulls he's watching. Before beginning their story, the authors tell us in a short note that "some of this account is imagined." We also learn it is spring 1950 and Pollock is working on Lavender Mist (one of the first canvases in his new style). "In the afternoon Jackson Pollock puts on his paint-splattered boots and walks across the yard." We follow him to the old barn that serves as his studio and watch him start a new painting. "Some artists put a canvas on an easel or hang it on a wall. Not Jackson. He spreads his out like a sheet, smoothing it flat with his large hands. He wants his paintings to be big, big as the sky out West where he grew up, flat as the marshland behind the house." Like an announcer providing play-by-play commentary, the text continues to track Pollock, using the artist's still periods staring at the canvas to impart bits of information about his materials and his reasons for using this new technique. A grueling day at work is followed by days away from the studio to let the paint dry before continuing this cycle. Finally it is finished. We turn the page and see a reproduction of Number 1, 1950 (Lavender Mist)-a startling departure after twenty pages of Parker's illustrations, but that's just the point. The text on this spread begins, "Some people will be shocked when they see what he has created." After waiting another week for the paint to dry (we see Pollock and his wife going about their lives), he can move the finished painting out of the way, and the book ends as it began, with Pollock staring at a new blank canvas covering the floor. On the last five pages the authors have provided additional biographical information and extensive notes, including photos of the artist as a child and at work in 1950. Greenberg, Jordan, and Parker have created a book with the energy and expression to match their subject. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Magazine Reviews

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2002 July #4)
Nicknamed "Action Jackson" for his kinetic style, abstract artist Jackson Pollack takes the spotlight in this outstanding picture book biography. Collaborators Greenberg and Jordan (Chuck Close: Up Close) frame their account around a significant period in Pollack's life in 1950, when he created Number 1, 1950 (also called Lavender Mist), one of his most famous paintings. Readers follow Pollack into his barn studio, watch over his shoulder as he lays the canvas on the floor and begins to work all the while learning about his early life and influences ("Like the Native American sand painters he saw as a boy out West, he moves around the canvas coaxing the paint into loops and curves"). Weaving in quotes from Pollack himself and such child-friendly details as the artist's pets (including a tame crow named Caw Caw), the authors craft an imaginative account grounded in solid research and enlivened with lyrical prose ("He swoops and leaps like a dancer, paint trailing from a brush that doesn't touch the canvas"). Parker (To Fly, reviewed below) suggests the artist's graceful motion with the barest of penstrokes; in one spread, Pollock's body curves across both pages as he paints. Whether capturing the intensity of the creative process and the artist's unique choreography or the spare vistas of sea and sky near the artist's Long Island home, Parker's impressionistic pen-and-watercolor illustrations pay homage to the painter's sweep of line and color ("energy and motion made visible," to quote Pollack). An extensive afterword offers notes and sources, as well as photos of Pollack at work and quotes from his friends and colleagues. Ages 6-10. (Aug.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2004 October)
This superb chronicle of Jackson Pollock's groundbreaking art has a useful bibliography and three pages of notes that further explain the text and pictures. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2002 October)
Gr 1-8-Greenberg and Jordan offer another remarkable book as they capture a two-month period during which Jackson Pollock created Number 1, 1950, (Lavender Mist). Though only focusing on this one painting, the authors manage to include interesting and revealing details about Pollock's childhood influences, his pets, his studio, and his environment. The active tense of the text lends immediacy and liveliness to the subject, "an athlete with a paintbrush" who "swoops and leaps like a dancer." Quotes from Pollock himself reveal his distinctive artistic process. The thoughtfulness and care that went into his painting should effectively put to rest any of the "I could do that" skepticism his art sometimes evokes. The authors remark on the widely varying responses to Pollock's work, and make note of his seminal place in 20th-century American art. Parker's watercolor illustrations capture the spirit of the text: dynamic as Pollock dances/paints, more introspective as he sits on the beach, watching the gulls. This is an exemplary picture-book biography, with lyrical prose and appealing illustrations that capture the moods of its subject, plus fascinating biographical details, photographs, and source notes. The text is accessible enough for younger readers to appreciate if read aloud and lively enough to appeal to older readers, who just might be inspired to learn more about the artist.-Robin L. Gibson, Perry County District Library, New Lexington, OH Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.