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Maxfield Parrish: Painter of Magical Make-Believe

Maxfield Parrish: Painter of Magical Make-Believe

By: Lois V. Harris
Publisher: Pelican Publishing
Publication Date: September 32011
ISBN: 978-1-4556-1472-1
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor 
Review Date: October 18, 2011

This truly beautiful juvenile nonfiction book offers readers a stunning portrait of a man who was devoted to the art world. The photographs of Maxfield Parrish - young and old - show him as a very studious-looking young man. Yet, in all of them, those eyes are looking off in the distance, as if he truly saw the magic that was all around him at any given time and yearned to be recording it on paper.

In his youth, Maxfield spent a great deal of time dreaming of peace and tranquility - like the huge copper beech trees (which he later painted). He was a master at everything, and basically made sure that everything around him was covered, or made into, a work of art. When he was young he created art in chemistry notebooks as well as on his own guitar; there was nothing Maxfield couldn’t do when it came to the creation of magic and make-believe. And he could draw with anything - crayons, paints, pencils - and made everything from cartoons and landscapes, to some of the most famous posters ever created.

His real name was Fred, but he took his grandmother’s family name of Maxfield. He had his heartbreaks while growing up, including losing his mother when she left Maxfield at a young age. His own marriage was extremely successful and produced four children, who lived the country life at their home in New Hampshire that would one day be called “The Oaks.”

Maxfield Parrish was the first “ad man” in a way, as well, because he made drawings and posters that were used by huge American companies like Jell-o and Ferry’s Seeds, as well as creating the covers for many magazines.

Some of his most stunning work appears in children’s storybooks. And he is even remembered for making his own “color;” Parrish Blue was a shade that only the master could seem to create.

This author has done a truly stunning job by putting together the best of the best when it came to this stunning artist’s work, and offering an imaginative and educational book for any child who is interested in exploring the world of art and make-believe.

Quill Says: A must-have for the book shelf! Maxfield Parrish was a true artist that the next generation should most definitely emulate!

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