Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Secret World of Walter Anderson

The Secret World of Walter Anderson
by Hester Bass
ill. by E. B. Lewis
picture book biography
Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2009

Many artists have a reputation of being odd or quirky. Some also are quite reclusive and secretive. Walter Anderson fit all these stereotypes. Neighbors would see him riding his bicycle or paddling his patchwork boat and think how odd he was. Walter never cared what others thought, he just wanted to do what felt right to him. Walter would row over twelve miles to a wild  island off the Mississippi Gulf Coast just to paint and get closer to nature. He kept a small room in his home locked at all times, even his wife and children were never allowed in there. Walter painted pottery and such for the public, but his heart was always with his nature studies. Many people have probably never heard of Walter Anderson, I hadn't until I read this book. After getting this brief glimpse into his life, I am curious to learn more and to see more of his work. This picture book biography is very well done. The author captures the enigmatic personality of the subject and the illustrations are gorgeous.

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