From the time she was just a young girl, Georgia O'Keeffe viewed the world in her own way. While other girls played with toys and braided their hair, Georgia practiced her drawing and let her hair fly free. As an adult, Georgia followed her love of art from the steel canyons of New York City to the vast plains of New Mexico. There she painted all day, and slept beneath the stars at night. Throughout her life Georgia O'Keeffe followed her dreams--and so found her way to become a great American artist.
"When I was twelve years old, I knew what I wanted--to be an artist." So begins My Name Is Georgia, Jeanette Winter's lovely picture-book portrait of American artist Georgia O'Keeffe. It is a portrait of a strong-minded young girl who liked to play by herself, dress differently from her sisters, and let her black hair fly when others wore braids. And it is the portrait of an artist who lived to be 98 years old, letting the world see things as she saw them through her remarkable paintings. This small book--with sparse, carefully chosen prose--traces O'Keeffe's life through her schooling in Chicago and New York, and her first trek to Texas: "And I painted the sunset and the sky and the wonderful loneliness and emptiness of the place. I painted day and night." From there she experienced the "canyons of steel" of New York City, "where other artists lived," then it was off to the New Mexico desert. Winter does an exquisite job of reflecting an artist's creative life--how she wanted others to see flowers the way she saw them, how she painted them "BIG, so people would notice." The author's illustrations, perfect squares on white pages with the occasional cloud or bird drifting out of the lines, make this small, powerful tribute shine. (Ages 6 and older) --Karin Snelson