Burleigh, R. (2004) Seurat and La Grande Jatte: Connecting the dots. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Incorporated.
Third through fifth grades
Robert Burleigh has written many books for children. This was published in association with the The Art Institute of Chicago. In the acknowledgments, the author thanks curators from The Art Institute of Chicago for their help.
2005 Orbis Pictus Award
This book is about the Georges Seurat and his artwork, “La Grande Jatte.” The author describes the park that is in the painting and how it demonstrates a common Sunday in the 1800’s. Burleigh takes different people and elements in the painting and uses them to show how life might have been during Seurat’s time.
National Art Education Standards:
Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas
Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and culture
Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others
The illustrations in this book are mostly reproductions of Seurat’s work. Because this mostly deconstructs Seurat’s “La Grande Jatte,” portions of this piece are shown in different scopes. Many illustrations show different parts of this piece in great detail.
Important access features in this book include a chronology of events from Seurat’s life, an author’s note, a glossary, selected bibliography, and acknowledgements. There is also a half page of illustration credits.
Burleigh uses questioning throughout the book to create interest in the reader. Each question is followed by a detailed analysis of the art work. The overall tone of the book is informal and conversational.
Use in My Classroom:
I would use this in my classroom as an introduction to art analysis. Burleigh does an excellent job of deconstructing the different elements within the painting.
My Response to the Book:
I liked this book! I thought it was a clever way to write about one particular art piece as opposed to writing about the artist’s life and their art was in the background. I learned more about this famous painting and the process Seurat undertook to complete it.
Other books about Georges Seurat:
Georges Seurat (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists) by Mike Venezia
Sunday with Seurat by Julie Merberg