Hi, my name is Norman Rockwell. My friend, Robert Burleigh decided to write this picture book about me. Who am I? I am an illustrator. I am …. Well, I will let Robert tell you in his book, Hi, I’m Norman: The Story of American Illustrator Norman Rockwell.
As I (Raven) was reading this picture book about an artist I have an odd connection to (more on that later), I heard a voice telling me Rockwell’s story. It is told in the first person, so that does help with hearing a narrator. Burleigh’s story is a simple but filled with detail story of this American artist. It is not a traditional biography, but an introduction to the man. Several afterwards fill in blanks, give more historical information (I had not realized how many times he was married; but knew his few years in Vermont; nor did I know how Charles Dickens played a role in creating the artist), talks more about the paintings (which are mentioned in the book as well). The art highlighted tends to be some of the more famous works or the works that represent Rockwell’s style. If you believe all that is written, Rockwell’s life seems to have mirrored the spirit of his work. He lived a quaint, The American Dream life.
The illustrations of Wendell Minor are done in the spirit of Rockwell’s work, but not in the exact style. They highlight areas of his life, his art and things around him. They complement the text by continuing the wholesome image. The colors are soft but stand out. The images themselves are bold, but not overpowering. Everything points to the spirit of what we know the man to be.
One of my favorite pages is where some models were shown. I knew someone who knew of the girl with a black eye. And not surprisingly, The Gossips is not mentioned. I mention this one as I have a connection to the man in the blue hat towards the end of the work. He was my great-grandfather; therefore, I am interested in learning more. And was curious how much controversy might be mentioned. If you are worried about that, do not be. This book is fine for ages five and up.