There are days when an artist has no ideas left. For Henri Matisse, the great French artist, this is one of those days.
Henri is empty. So he puts on his striped shirt and goes walking in his neighborhood.
In the streets of Montmartre, he encounters his friend Amadou, whose father is from Senegal and mother is from Morocco. The artist tells Amadou that he is empty of ideas. His friend wants to show him a new sculpture, so Henri invites him to dinner at his home. Next, he meets his friend Tsuguhara and his cat, Leonard. When Tsuguhara hears that Henri is empty, he wants to show him prints from his native Japan, so Henri invites him and Leonard to dinner too. Finally, he sees his friend Sylvie. Hearing that her friend is empty of ideas, she wants to tell him stories of her native Martinique. Henri invites her to dinner with Amadou and Tsuguhara.
As Henri buys three aubergines to cook for his friends, his mind and heart fill with the pink of cherry blossoms in Tokyo, the black of sculptures brought all the way from Africa, the blue of the endless waters of Martinique. From then on, his paintings are filled with the stories of his friends. And Henri is full.---from the publisher
40 pages 978-1644420287 Ages 5-8
Keywords: African American author, artist, France, Europe, diversity, diverse books, creative process, art fiction, friends, friendship, inspiration, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old