March 24, 2017

Friday Frida Favs: Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World Book Review

I would love to one day have a small collection of Frida Kahlo books, especially ones meant more for children and young adults since those seem to be the ones filled the most with beautiful illustrations. We currently own two Frida Kahlo themed books, "Frida" by Johan Winter and Ana Juan and "Counting with - Contend con Frida" by Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein. While searching for Frida Kahlo books at my local library's search engine online, I came upon the book, "Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World." I requested to put it on hold for Lily and I and fell in love with it the first time I read it to her.

"Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World," by Laurence Anholt is about a little girl named Mariana who gets her portrait painted by Frida. Mariana learns a lot about Frida, life lessons from Frida, and develops a life long friendship with Frida. Frida's interactions with Mariana gives the reader a glimpse of the wonderful mother Frida would have been if she could have had children. The illustrations in this book are beautifully painted; illustrations that both adults and children would appreciate. "Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World" book would be a great addition to any girl's library as they "discover how love, creativity, determination and above all - courage - can give them wings to fly" (quote obtained from last page in book, short biography on Frida Kahlo).

Among the beautiful watercolor illustrations in this book, some of Frida Kahlo's actual paintings are included, like the portrait shown above of Dona Rosita (Mariana's grandmother). An artistic touch I love and haven't noticed to have been done in other Frida Kahlo themed books.

Not only was Frida an unforgettable painter but she has a great sense of humor too. Frida introduces Mariana to her pets, some whom are very uncommon pets. Frida pets included a monkey, parrot, dog, baby deer, and an eagle named Gertrude Caca Blanca, which means Gertrude White Poo. Frida makes fun of her "favorite friend of all" her husband Diego River when describing him to Mariana. She calls him an ugly frog-toad and big as an elephant (which I already knew Frida did), who is always hungry. Frida even reveals personal information about Diego that had me laughing when reading the book to my daughter. Diego has to get his underwear specially made "big enough for an elephant" and they're pink. Diego is like a big baby who plays with toys in his bath. Ha! Who knew!?! I think Frida reveals this information to Mariana to make her feel comfortable around Diego.

Frida is constantly reminding Mariana that no matter what life throws at her she can be still be strong and be whomever she wants to be in life. This constant message makes this book one of my favorite Frida Kahlo themed books. Frida explains to Mariana why she wears long dresses (the bus and tram crash) and how she began painting. The accident may have broken Frida, but it didn't break her spirit, it only made her stronger.

Frida also tells Mariana, "We are stronger than we think Mariana. And here's a little secret - women are stronger than men."

Frida quickly influences Mariana. Frida gives Mariana a skeleton toy doll and Mariana tells the doll, "Listen, Boney. I'm the bravest girl in the world."

When Mariana says farewell to Frida and Diego, Frida tells Mariana, "Promise me you'll be strong like me, Little Sister. Promise me you'll fly in your life." This quote is one of my favorite in this book because it helped me better understand one of Frida Kahlo's most popular quotes, "Feet, why do I need you when I have wings to fly."

At the end of the book, there's a short biography of Frida Kahlo that you will enjoy reading as much as the actual book. In it, it tells that Frida and Mariana developed a lifelong friendship.

If you think you'll love, "Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World" as much as Lily and I did, you can get your own copy at Book Depository for $12.00 with free shipping. I'm a bargain shopper and this is the best deal I could find online. The regular price for this book is $16.99. I hope to add this book to Lily and my library in the future. 

Here's a fun surprise from Lily and I to my fellow bookworms and Frida Kahlo admirers - two free downloadable book marks:

You can print them out for your Viva La Frida Swap partner and for yourself.  If you haven't sign up yet for the swap, click here to do so.  For more inspirational Frida Kahlo posts head over to Emily's blog here. Also, don't forget to enter the Frida Kahlo pin giveaway! Click here for more information on the giveaway. 

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