Synopses & Reviews
A SIMPLE STORY LAYERED WITH MEANING; stunning layered artwork by an acknowledged master.
A wealthy Chinese man dreamt of a painting of his favorite horse. He sought out a man named Homan, known as a great painter of horses and commissioned the portrait. Then he waited…and waited…and waited. As the years passed, his hair grew gray, and he grew furious. What was taking so long? Dennis Haseleys simple story about the nature of art and the value of time is subtly amplified in stunning layered collages by Caldecott medalist Ed-Young.Twenty Heartbeats is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
"Set in the indeterminate Far East of long ago so often favored by Caldecott Medalist Young, this story about a rich man and an artist lends itself to various levels of interpretation. Children may see the book as a lesson about how practice makes perfect; adults may see it as a confrontation between commerce and art. The rich man pays an artist to paint a picture of his beloved horse; after years of waiting, he is furious when the artist paints the picture in little more than 'twenty heartbeats.' When he sees the thousands of drawings of his horse in the artist's studio, however, he understands why the artist has struggled so long. Like a folktale, Haseley's (A Story for Bear) text unfolds economically, but it is Young's virtuoso illustrations that breathe life into the book the combination of elegant brushstrokes and collage designs are masterly. At its best, the story, however imperfectly, attempts to explain just how an artist transforms his vision into art; through Young's artwork, readers, like the rich man, will understand how remarkable that vision can be. Ages 5 9." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Dennis Haseley has written many books for children, including The Invisible Moose, A Story for Bear, and Kite Flier. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Ed Young has illustrated more than eighty books for children, including the Caldecott winning Lon Po Po and two Caldecott Honor books: Seven Blind Mice and The Emperor and the Kite. Born in China, he now lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY.