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Review of HANA IN THE TIME OF THE TULIPS by Deborah Noyes

by Julie Brinker

Noyes, Deborah. 2004. HANA IN THE TIME OF THE TULIPS. Ill. by Bagram Ibatoulline. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick. ISBN 0763618756

HANA IN THE TIME OF THE TULIPS is the story of a little Dutch girl whose father is caught up in the tulip craze of 1634-7 and her attempts to help console and comfort him. Ibatoulline's incredible illustrations in the style of Rembrandt, with amazing control and use of color and light, and full color paintings on every facing page (with additional "sketches") truly paint the picture of the times. Even the background of the text is faux parchment colored. One particularly stunning example shows Hana and her nursemaid looking at a firefly cupped in the nurse's hands; the only light source is the glow from the trapped insect, which throws perfectly Rembrandt-like highlights onto the faces of Hana and Nurse.

This is a great introduction to the culture, the time, and the art of Rembrandt. The SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL review of October 1, 2004, expands on the stunning illustrations: "The illustrations are a haunting homage to Rembrandt, who has a peripheral role in the story and whose art typifies the day. Ibatoulline's paintings demonstrate the flexibility of his acrylic-gouache work, which so perfectly mimics Rembrandt's oils, inks, and bistre washes, and which deftly incorporate the chiaroscuro that was central to the master's work."


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