The Noisy Paint Box

The Colors and Sounds of Kandisky's Abstract Art

The Noisy Paint Box

By Barb Rosenstock
Illustrated by Mary GrandPré
Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN:  978-0307978486


IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Vasya Kandinsky was a proper little boy, so his family expected him to paint like a proper artist. 

But when Vasya opened his paint box and began mixing colors, he heard strange sounds. As he grew older, he continued to hear colors singing and see sounds dancing. But will Vasya be brave enough to put aside his proper background and  paint . . . music?

This exuberant celebration of creativity tells the fascinating story of Vasily Kandinsky, a person experiencing synesthesia. Throughout his life, Kandinsky heard colors as sounds, and saw sounds as colors—and bold, groundbreaking works burst forth from his noisy paint box. The result? The start of abstract art.

Backmatter includes four paintings by Kandinsky, an author’s note, sources, links to websites on synesthesia and abstract art.

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“Rosenstock’s prose strikes a balance between lightheartedness and lyricism. GrandPré’s paintings conjure up an entire epoch…breathing life into all the characters.”
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
“This is a beautiful blend of colors, music, and life.”
Starred Review, Booklist
“A rich, accomplished piece about a pioneer in the art world.”
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“The book offers diverse potential for different types of study, whether one is reading for information or for pleasure. Outstanding.”
Starred Review, School Library Journal
“Barb Rosenstock captures the moment of the young Vasya’s inner transformation in language almost as fizzy and explosive as a Kandinsky painting.”
—The Wall Street Journal
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