When I saw Shane Peacock's name on a children's picture book about an artist, I had to know. What on earth is this guy who lives to write Sherlock Holmes stores for young adolescents doing in the realm of art. Something took him there. But what?
Turns out Shane Peacock struggles to write the stories that he wants to tell and not to feel bound by what others want him to write or what is popular. He needs to stay true to himself.
If you look at the life of Vincent Van Gogh, you'll see he spent time creating pictures his way. he didn't paint by the rules. he didn't try to be rich or famous. He listened to the voice inside himself and followed that all-important guide.
This is the story of a bully and a coward who made fun of Vincent Van Gogh from the safety of the crowd. Told in the first person we see Van Gogh through the eyes of this confused boy who needed to fit in and to feel powerful by making fun of someone who was different. We see him later in life, too, as he stands in a museum hand-in-hand with a grandchild knowing the mistake he made.
Hopefully the power of the painting and Van Gogh's stature today are enough to spark the grandfather's courage to reveal his own mistakes and to lift up the next generation to be better than he was in his day.
This is a wonderful story about peer pressure, about bullying and about making mistakes. It's a story about the chance for redemption and the chance each of us has to be true to the very best in ourselves so the world gets the gifts of our hearts and we all take a giant step forward to being what we are intended to be.
Shane Peacock has told the story of his own heart and we can all honor him by understanding and feeling gratitude for his truth.
40 pages 978-1771471381 Ages 6-10
Vincent van Gogh is now known as an acclaimed, incomparable Post-Impressionist painter. But when he lived in Arles, France, in the 1880s, he was mocked for being different. Back then, van Gogh was an eccentric man with wild red hair who used clashing hues to paint unusual-looking people and strange starry skies. Children and adults alike called him names and laughed at him. Nobody bought his art. But he kept painting.
Inspired by these events, The Artist and Me is the fictional confession of one of van Gogh’s bullies — a young boy who adopted the popular attitude of adults around him. It’s not until the boy faces his victim alone that he realizes there is more than one way to see the world.
Artwork in the book uses vibrant color and texture to bring the laneways, cafés, and wheat fields of southern France to life while playing on scenes from van Gogh’s own work. The lyrical text carries the emotional weight of the subject and will leave readers with the understanding that everyone’s point of view is valuable.--from the publisher