June 10, 2016

Friday Frida Favs: Frida Book Review & GIVEAWAY

Frida” by Jonah Winter and illustrated by Ana Juan was the first Frida Kahlo book I purchased. I got it to use it as a guest book for my Frida themed birthday party when I turned 31. When it arrived in the mail, I decided not to use it as a guest book. I couldn’t bare having the beautiful illustrations ruined by people’s writing. This book is not in Lily’s growing library. She does good with paperback books but sometimes she accidentally rips the pages. “Sorry, Sweetie! Not this one.”

Reading time after our morning walk/run. Lily loves Frida too!
My copy of “Frida” is in Spanish but also comes in English. The book begins with the birth of Frida. It mentions factual aspects of Frida’s life, her blue house, Coyoacan, Mexico (her birth place), the trolley accident, and much more. But most importantly it tells the reader how painting played a major role in her life. Diego is not mentioned in the story until the end, where a biography of Frida is included. 

The illustrations are handpainted with a mixture of color pencil, from what I can see. In the illustrations you’ll find very playful almost whimsical “imaginary” characters - a little red devil, a tiger like character, and one with an almost ghost like face, to describe a few. These characters interact with Frida’s real life environment and express the different emotions based on what is happening in Frida’s life. 

Lily counting how many Fridas she sees. 
Some of the illustrations are influenced by Frida’s actual work. There is one illustration of two little girls holding hands in the sky and they are both Frida. The illustration reminds me of Frida’s painting, “The Two Fridas.” In another, Frida, this time older after the trolley accident, is depicted wrapped in the branches of a tree. That one reminds me of her painting “The Dream” and “Roots/Raices.” The book’s text is placed in the open spaces among the illustrations or on banners, which is often seen in Frida’s paintings. On one page, a bird holds the banner in its mouth. 

What makes this book one of my favorites, other than the beautiful, sometimes very vibrant illustrations, is that it emphasizes on how art shaved Frida’s life. It helped her deal with all the pain and loneliness she so often felt. One of my favorite lines in the book is 

“Dibujar es como tener una amiga imaginaria. Esta presente cada vez que ella quiere. Le hace compania y le da fuerzas para no perder la esperanza.” 

Let me translate:
“Painting is like having an imaginary friend. She is present every time she needs her. She gives her company and the strength to not lose hope.”

I love this quote! What makes me realize how important it is is two reasons: One, in the beginning of the book before the quote above it given it says, “Frida has an imaginary friend named Frida” in Spanish of course. I have no idea if it is actually true. Two, my brain recalls one of Frida’s quotes: 

“I am my own muse. I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to know better.”

That’s when I had an aha moment. When Frida was lonely she painted herself, the subject she knew best. She painted her imaginary friend, Frida. A friend whom could related to her, someone who knew her pain and suffering, and she could bring her to life just with a stroke of a brush. 

It is difficult not to love Frida. In a situation were many would give up and lose hope, she found a way to fight through it, to make something positive out of it and share it with the world. On that note, I would like to share/give a copy of this amazing book, “Frida” to one lucky winner. It will be a Spanish version, like my own.

Giveaway Rules
Leave a comment below about this book review or anything about Frida Kahlo.
For extra entries share this giveaway on your social media accounts and leave the link/s in the comments below. 
Contest ends next Friday, June 17. 
Winner will be announced Saturday, June 18. 
Good Luck!

Also, don't forget to check out The Morose Bee to see what she has going on for Friday Frida Favs.

1 comment:

  1. Love this post and this book! In her diary that I reviewed in my podt, there are actually some pages where she reminisces about her actual imaginary friend she had as a child. There is definitely so much complex meanings to the "two fridas"


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