Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sarah and Simon and No Red Paint

Staff Review by Chris Saliba

What's the story about?

Sarah and Simon live in a painter's studio with their mother, baby brother Richard and father who is a struggling artist. The father is working on what he thinks will be his masterpiece. If he can only finish it, then fame and fortune will surely be his. The problem is, he runs out of red paint. When Sarah and Simon are sent to the artist's supply store, the grumpy owner sends them away. 'No money, no paint' the horrid shop owner tells them.
Sarah and Simon try their hands at several money making schemes, but are not particularly successful. Feeling rather glum, they visit a favourite second hand book shop and sit talking. Unbeknownst to them, their troubled conversation is overheard by a regular shopper. A few days later a mystery parcel arrives full of an interesting array of supplies.

Who wrote and illustrated it?

Edward Ardizzone wrote and illustrated the story. Like the painter in the story, Ardizzone was a famous artist himself, and illustrated over 170 books during his lifetime including the classic Little Tim series. He was appointed by the British art historian Kenneth Clark as the Offical War Artist during the Second World War. Edward Ardizzone was born in 1900 and died in 1979. 

Why I like this book.

This is a really charming story with a nice little moral about sticking to what you believe in. The children believe in their father's talent as an artist to bring in money for the family, no matter what the setbacks are. The best thing about the book, of course, are Ardizzone's exquisitely beautiful drawings which have a light touch and delicacy.

Sarah and Simon and No Red Paint, by Edward Ardizzone. Published by Thames & Hudson.
 ISBN: 9781849760027  RRP: $17.95