Picasso: I the King, Yo el rey

By Carmen T. Bernier-Grand • Illustrated by David Diaz
Amazon Children’s Publishing • 2012 • 64 pages
ISBN: 978-0761461777
Hardcover ($19.99)
Ages 10-15

This biography, told in a selection of poems that appear in chronological order, is embellished with reproductions of its subject’s most famous works. Picasso is one of the 20th century’s most prolific artists; he delved into painting, sculpture, printmaking, and ceramics. He had a larger-than-life personality, and his relationships with his female companions and with the children from those relationships could at times turn destructive.

Read Related: Nurture Your Child’s Inner Picasso: Fun Craft Projects

This book focuses on many of the women in Picasso’s life and the tragic lives they led. Parents should be aware that several suicides are discussed.  Picasso’s political views and his joining the Communist Party in 1944 are also discussed, and the book mentions that he rarely attended party meetings.

His illegitimate children Maya, Claude, and Paloma were not officially recognized as his natural children until 1974, one year after his death.  Unknown to him, his daughter Maya became an expert on his work, Claude his curator, and Paloma a world-famous jewelry designer. The book includes a prose summary, and a chronology of his life at the end. Caldecott Award winner David Diaz uses bold oil paints to illustrate Picasso’s colorful life.

Reviewed by Dr. Veronica Covington, School of Information, University of Texas, Austin