Little Frida: A story of Frida Kahlo

Anthony Browne is a picture book giant, creating some of the best books you can find. Piggybook, Silly Billy and Voices in the Park are great examples of his talent as a story teller. So it was a real pleasure to find this book on a fascinating subject from the world of art.

As you will have guessed, this story takes place at a time when Frida wasn’t pushing the boundaries of art, but still a dreamer nevertheless. It provides an insight to her early life such as her suffering with polio or happiness in her own company. To Little Frida, imagination is everything.

I have always adored the way that Anthony Browne plays with the viewer. The hidden themes and strange tricks that make the reader scan each page with curiosity. My favourite page is below. I love how he sucks the colour out of it to match the black and white photos her father creates.

As I say, he is truly a master storyteller.

Now for the teacher bit. Any picture book that supports another subject is worth exploring and this is no different. Above are two pieces of art to compare as a part of your learning: one is Anthony Browne’s imagining of Frida and her ’friend’ while the other is Frida Kahlo’s own art. The one page biography at the back that explains the story in more detail is a perfect text to share at the start of an art unit to develop more knowledge about the artist.

A fitting tribute to a powerhouse of the world of art.

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