Book Review: An Artist’s Eyes

TitleAn Artist’s Eyes

Written by: Frances Tosdevin

Illustrated by: Clémence Monnet

Published by: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

An Artist’s Eyes by Frances Tosdevin and Clémence Monnet

An Artist’s Eyes is a captivating picture book about a little boy called Jo, whose eyes may look the same as Mo, who is an artist, but they see things very differently. He does not see the differences in colour Mo does. She can see:

“…shiny apple-green; the lime of gooseberries and the springy zinginess of moss.”

Extract from An Artist’s Eyes by Frances Tosdevin and Clémence Monnet

Yet the apples, gooseberries and moss just look like green to Jo. No matter how hard he tries his eyes don’t see the variations of shade in the same way Mo the artist. Frances’ text shows the build-up of Jo’s frustration, as he tries to force himself to see the same way as Mo.

As he journeys through the world of colour and creativity, Jo begins to relax and use his imagination. He soon realises he does not have to see the same as Mo, the things he can imagine are completely unique. I love the way Frances Tosdevin shows us how Jo begins to trust his own eyes and how his mindset changes in this empowering story of confidence. Jo starts to appreciate he is able to think and see like an artist but in a totally different way to Mo.

On each spread, Clémence Monnet’s watercolour illustrations compliment the text and vividly show the wide variety of colour Mo can see. I particularly like the way the colours are used to convey Jo’s emotional journey, from the black spread scattered with bursts of colour to illustrate Jo’s frustration, to the angry red spread which highlights Jo’s turning point when he finally starts to believe in himself. This picture book will inspire children to explore the different colours they can see for themselves in the world around them, from the different shades of red in the autumn leaves to the…

“…mellow yellow of melons and the pale pastel of primroses.” 

Extract from An Artist’s Eyes by Frances Tosdevin and Clémence Monnet

The perfect book to use in the primary classroom from years one to six to demonstrate to young children how to use the full colour of our imaginations. It could also be used to stimulate art work and experimentation of colour mixing and also the use of shape and pattern. I believe this book is ideal for encouraging children to be more observant of the world around them. It will help them to discover for themselves that our individual perspectives make us all artists because no two artist’s eyes are the same.

An Artist’s Eyes truly is an exceptional and distinctive book to help young readers see how magical the world can be.

You can buy copies of An Artist’s Eyes by Frances Tosdevin and Clémence Monnet from your local bookshop, or online at uk.bookshop.org, an organisation with a mission to financially support local, independent bookshops.

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