Frida Kahlo was born in Mexico and endured polio as a child. She was planning to become a doctor when injuries from a car accident confined her to bed for long periods and she took up her hobby of painting again, improving and refining her technique. When she went to show her work to well-known Mexican artist Diego Rivera he was impressed and they fell in love and married. As was true for many women artists, Frida’s works were overshadowed by her husband’s and it was not until the 1990s that the true worth of her art was recognised.
The artist dressed in traditional Mexican indigenous clothing to celebrate her ancestry and painted mostly small self-portraits which are well portrayed in the book. Frida Kahlo is well known for her heavy, almost joined eyebrows and the illustrations make a point of including this feature, to the extent that no other figure in the book actually has eyebrows at all.
Although simple and brief, the book has a powerful message that we should not let difficulties stop us. As Frida always said “Viva la Vida” … “Live life.”.
This is another delightful book by Isabel Sánchez Vegara in her Little People, Big Dreams series that spotlight inspirational women. This My First board book edition is a simplified edition for ages 4 or 5, with good illustrations by Eng Gee Fan. It would make great bedtime reading as its simplicity still manages to tell the story of this inspiring woman.
I can highly recommend this book and the whole series.
Reviewed by Jan Kershaw
Rating out of 10: 9
Distributed by: Murdoch Books
Released: July 2018
RRP: $12.99 board book