A Colorful Tail

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

The beginning of this book is lightly philosophical: the desire to record the ephemeral The final turn is a bit unexpected but pleasant. A cute story One could use it alongside an art lesson.
Was this review helpful?
A little red fox lives in a beautiful garden. Every season he attempts to make the colours stay by collecting blossoms, pebbles and leaves and arranging them into pretty patterns.

But each time, his artwork is blown or washed away. Then he notices a man putting colours onto canvas. A man named Claude Monet. And fox learns the secret for creating art that will withstand time and the elements.

While the story about the fox is fictional, it brings to life Claude Monet’s style of painting and love of nature in a delightfully unique way.

A Colorful Tail would make a wonderful first introduction to a great artist even for very young children, and would no doubt captivate older childen and adults too!

The stunning illustrations overflow with colour and with the joy of nature. Children will have fun spotting Monet in the distance in the first spreads until he appears up close.

An author’s note at the beginning of the book provides interesting facts about this influential artist.
Was this review helpful?
The hero of this book is a color-loving fox who persists in his efforts to make the colors of his beautiful garden home last all year round, even in winter. The fox tries arranging petals, stones, and fall leaves to make art as beautiful as nature, but each time something messes up his creation. Eventually he sees Claude Monet painting and tries to imitate him, with great success. This book is strongest when giving specific, detailed color names (indigo and cerulean, for example), as well as in showcasing a hero with an indominitable spirit like that of The Little Engine That Could. It is not as good as, say, a book like In the Magical Garden of Claude Monet at actually introducing the painter. Monet in this book could have been any painter. A Colorful Tail's gorgeous illustrations bear little resemblance to Monet's impressionistic style.
Was this review helpful?
A Colorful Tail is a good little picture book. In its page we follow a fox who adores nature's beauty and colours. Each season he tries to create a living memory of the scenes he sees. Unfortunately, nature being nature, nothing stays the same for long.

Luckily for the fox, he happens to live in Monet's garden, where Monet himself also likes to capture the beauty of the scenes around him. Monet notices the clever fox and soon comes up with a solution that will allow the fox to create vivid scenes to remember.

I'd been hoping the illustrations in this book would be a bit more of an homage to Monet. Although they're certainly charming, it was disappointing that there wasn't much attempt to play with impressionism in the images.

So, on its own, this is a fairly good picture book -- I'm quite sure some children will be very taken with the story and the images. But for an introduction to Monet, I expected more, so I'm giving it  2.5 stars rounded up to 3.

Thank you to NetGalley and Schiffer Publishing Ltd.for providing me with a DRC of this book.
Was this review helpful?
I am a sucker for a biographical children’s book...especially if the person has anything to do with the arts. Enter 'A Colorful Tail' by Joan Waites – a charming read where the curious protagonist shares a special connection with Claude Monet.

This sweet picture book is the story of a little red fox who loves & feels great affection for the colors and beauty that surround him in the garden at Giverny. We follow Fox throughout the seasons - which Waites describes and illustrates with such care and detail. When winter comes, Fox wishes he could keep the splendor of spring, summer & fall with him. He tries in many ways to recreate his favorite pieces from each season, but, of course, another part of nature spoils it. 

One day, Fox notices the man in the garden with him...a man that can recreate the garden’s beauty. What follows is a unique transformation for Fox...one that connects Fox to the nature around him and the artist who teaches him how to forever hold the beauty in his heart and his hand. 

There are many details within this book that kept me drawn in from beginning to end. As a former Kindergarten teacher, I appreciate that the book opens with a brief biography of Monet himself, as well as, a little game of seek & find where the reader can try to discover, not only Monet on each page spread, but also a tiny butterfly. 

References to Monet’s actual paintings from Giveny play a roll, especially many suggestions to the water lilies. I also fell in love with the composition design – particularly the circular layout using nature, again, to adorn the text.

‘A Colorful Tail’ is a wonderful story to share with younger ones to inspire creativity, as well as, develop an appreciation for art and artists at an early age.

Thank you to Schiffer Publishing Ltd. and NetGalley for a digital copy of this book!
Was this review helpful?
I read this to my 4 and 6 year old sons. I think it was a good book for some art appreciation and possibly an art awareness lesson for homeschool. I thought the pictures were beautiful and the story made sense and was relevant.
Was this review helpful?
A bright and colorful book about a fox learning to paint! Fox appreciates the colors of all the seasons, but misses them in winter, when everything turns white. He tries various ways of capturing the colors of the seasons, but none are permanent–until he spots Monet painting one of his paintings in the garden. Fox trots over to give it a try and finally finds a way to keep the colors close to him year round.

The colors are vivid and there’s a fun play of simple geometrics for backgrounds and the detailed work of the flowers and pebbles. I also loved following the little butterfly around the pages.

It’s a book that encourages kids to find different ways to make art and to experiment until they get the desired results. While Fox is looking for a permanent memory of the colors, the methods he tries before he discovers painting are still forms of art on their own! It would be a fun lesson to explore all the types of “image capturing” Fox tries, seeing how to capture a flower’s colors in different natural mediums.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy to review!
Was this review helpful?
This book is absolutely adorable. It's about a fox who wishes he could capture colors. He stumbles onto Claude Monet painting his waterlily pond (the actual title of the piece escapes me right now) and watches with great interest as the man appears to have found a way to capture the colors. 

It's sort of half a fairy tale type story and half a tale about Monet and probably a nice introduction for kids to art and art history. The images are very colorful and charming. 

My only complaint is that I would have liked to have seen more of Monet's imagery and perhaps a bit more text about the fox's paintings! 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the early copy!

(Cross posted from Goodreads: )
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Schiffer Publishing Ltd. and NetGalley for a digital copy of this book! 

I am so excited I got to read this beautiful children's story about creativity and perseverance! Fox is a great character that kids can look up to and this book will certainly trigger creative minds. The story line was simple but meaningful and I think kids will love it. Especially kids who love the arts. Hopefully this book will bring in some recruits to the arts as well. The illustrations were very beautiful and Fox was so cute! I liked that Monet could be seen painting in many of the scenes. This was certainly a unique read. What a lovely kids book!
Was this review helpful?
A cheerful and charming tale that's a little bit sweet animal story,  a little bit beginner art history.

Waites'' take on the fox's perspective (the paintbrush, for example!) is clever and endearing, and simple enough for children to grasp, and the almost understated friendship between the fox and Monet strikes the right note. 

I would have liked to see more of Monet's paintings subtly worked into the plot, and I thought the text was better than the illustrations, but there's little to complain about in this lovely homage to art and nature.
Was this review helpful?
There needs to be more books like this. It's illustrations are individual pieces of art that will make anyone smile. The story is charming and heart warming; I didn't want it to end. I guarantee this will be a favourite bed time read of many children.
Was this review helpful?
A Wonderful book for small children to explain what it would be like to be an artist. The fox is frustrated because he tries to capture the beauty of colors and nature, but nature is not something to be captured, just to enjoy in that moment. He lives on Monet's property in Giverny France, and watches how an artist captures the moment of color and beauty, with paint on a canvas, to enjoy for a long time. Highly recommend to all small children who are learning how to be creative!
Was this review helpful?
This book had me totally on board for the first half. A book about colors that wasn't the same old same old? A book with hidden Monet and butterflies for kids to find and point out? A picture book about an artist that was subtle and calm? But it went pretty off the rails about halfway in. When it comes to fantasy vs reality in picture books I really just want authors to pick a lane and that did not happen here.
Was this review helpful?
Such a cute, beautiful little book. Foxes are my absolute favorite so I'm a little partial to anything with them in it, but still, this book holds up!

The illustrations are completely beautiful and I'd get this for any child in my life to treasure.

Recommend!
Was this review helpful?
A wonderful tale of a fox living in Monet’s garden who wants to keep the colours of the seasons alive.  Great for teaching lots of words about colour and introducing art and Monet to children in a simple way and the illustrations are bright and beautiful 

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
Was this review helpful?
This book was a bit of a disappointment. When you're reading a fictionalized story about a real artist, you have certain expectations about the aesthetic of the book. This book--although it's about a real-life Impressionist--looks like any other run-of-the-mill picture book, wasting the opportunity it had to teach children about Claude Monet and his beautiful work.

I've seen this weird setup before in Allen Say's Silent Days, Silent Dreams, which tried to tell the story of an artist without including any of the man's actual work (all the art was done by the author of the book instead). I'm not a fan of this, especially when the subject is something like Impressionism; the illustrations in this book aren't even done in that style.

I also don't like the ending. I didn't have a problem with the premise for most of the book. The fox tries to gather colourful objects that he finds in the world around him to make the colours of the seasons last. But the ending took a weird turn into anthropomorphism that was neither realistic nor plausible. It pretty much ruined what could've been a fairly decent story.

This is not a good introduction to Monet. Sure, it describes his painting style, but the few pieces depicted in the illustrations are a poor example of his work. Kids who read this will have little understanding of the artist or his work, other than the fact that he painted outdoors and used small brushstrokes.
Was this review helpful?
A Colorful Tail follows a curious fox who aspires to capture nature's beauty in a way that will last. His attempts fail until he comes across a painter (Monet) and his artwork. This picture book would be great in elementary schools as a way of incorporating art into the classrooms. Terrific illustrations and concept for introducing students to art, colors, and Monet.
Was this review helpful?
A cute introductory story of colors and Monet, The illustrations are charming as is the fox. If you've a child interested in art, or just learning more colors, this isn't a bad place to start.
Was this review helpful?
What a beautiful, lovely book! A fox living in Monet's garden observes the changing of the seasons and, after some experimentation with effimery art, learns how to paint imitating the great impressionist painter. Beautifully illustrated, of high educational value: desire and appreciation of beauty, respect for nature united to passion for art. I like also the layout with the round windows and the fil rouge (the butterfly). Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
This is a great book to show kids the importance of art and how it captures moments in time that we wish to remember and admire once their gone. Monet has always been one of my favorite artists because of his techniques and subject matter --especially his nature scenes. I loved the fantastical element of the fox trying to capture the beauty of the garden so he can enjoy it even in winter when the colors go away. He finally discovers painting as an outlet to capture the beauty to make it last even in winter. 

I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?