Sunday, July 8, 2007

Frida by Jonah Winter #19

Winter, J. (2002). Frida. Illustrated by Ana Juan. New York: Scholastic Books.
Book Type/Pages:
Picture/32 pages

Grade Level:

pre-kindergarten through fifth grade

Curriculum Links:


Author Credibility:

Jonah Winter has written several children’s books, including Diego, a book about Frida Kahlo’s husband, Diego Rivera. In the author’s note, he lists biographical information about Frida Kahlo. Due to polio and an accident, she spent much of her time in bed and used painting and drawing as a way to deal with her frustration.


ALA Notable BookAméricas Award Honor Book

Society of Illustrators’ Original Art Show selection

Parenting Magazine Best Book of 2002

2002 Parents’ Choice Gold Award (includes both English and Spanish texts)

National Association of Parenting Publications Gold Award

Book Summary:

This book is written for younger students and contains one to several sentences on each page indicating the significant events in the Frida’s life. She had polio as a child and spent most of her time in bed. She taught herself to draw as a way to combat her sadness. As she grows older, she studies science and finds that school is not challenging enough for her. She was involved in an accident on a school bus and spent more time in bed recuperating. Again, she turned to art as a way to deal with her confinement. Through her art and her life story, she became an inspiration to the Mexican people and people all over the world.

National/State Standards:

National art education standards:
Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures
Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others


The illustrations in this book were created with acrylics and wax on paper. The illustrations are breathtaking and cover each page. They are very style specific to Mexican folk art. The illustrations include many references to Mexican culture such as the Day of the Dead, native animals and symbols, and transportation. The illustrations were my favorite part of this book.

Access Features:

Important access features in this book include an author’s note and an artist’s note.

Writing Style:

The writing in this book is very simplistic. It is intended for younger audiences. This pictorial biography lists the life events of Frida Kahlo in sequential order.

Use in My Classroom:

I would use this book in a unit on art, biographies, Mexico, or women’s studies.

My Response to the Book:

I loved this book! I had heard of Frida Kahlo before but did not know much about her life. The illustrations in this book are thoughtful and beautiful. I really got a fell for the Mexican culture. While reading this book, I discovered that Frida was married to another artist that I read about, Diego Rivera. The book about Rivera did not mention that he was married.

Related Texts:

Other books about Frida Kahlo:
Frida Kahlo: The Artist Who Painted Herself by Margaret Frith
Frida Kahlo (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists) by Mike Venezia


I love nonfiction said...

Were the illustrations in this book reflective of the style that Frida used in her paintings? Seems like I remember this from some resource--but I could have dreamed it too:-)

This book could also be used in a discussion about people who have overcome adversity or related to people who have some kind of handicapping situation.

Do you know why Frida was such as inspiring person to the Mexican people?

Debbie Vanderford said...


I love the cover of this book! Cute little unibrow Frida. I had no idea there was a children's book written about her. I received a poster about her this year in my set of Scholastic News.