Ever since my preschooler discovered (with mom's help) the wonderful painters' series of books by Laurence Anholt, we've accumulated quite a collection! Anholt has done a great service through these books, making art accessible to young children in the most creative and vibrant manner. What is even more remarkable, is that these stories are actually based on real events in the artists' lives - Monet's encounter with a young girl in his garden, Van Gogh's friendship with a young boy despite the alienation he suffers, and this book is no different.
In "Matisse The King of Color", the friendship between Matisse and a young girl named Monique is explored. Monique initially meets the painter whilst he's convalescing from an illness, but later Monique goes away to enter service as a Dominican nun. However, the pair's paths cross again and this time Matisse gives Monique a very special gift that has lasted till this day - the construction of a chapel with stained glass masterpieces painted by the great artist himself. This is an inspiring story that conveys the lasting bonds of friendship, that attests to the creative and healing power of art.