Saturday, October 24, 2009

Readathon: Hour 6: Secret World of Walter Anderson

The Secret World of Walter Anderson by Hester Bass

The first page of the book:

“There once was a man whose love of nature was as wide as the world.

There once was an artist who needed to paint as much as he needed to breathe.

There once was an islander who lived in a cottage at the edge of Mississippi, where the sea meets the earth and sky.

His name was Walter Anderson.

He may be the most famous American artist you’ve never heard of.”

This book is two books; it’s a close-up of Anderson’s daily trip to Horn Island, adventuring and painting, and it’s a complete biography of Anderson’s life. Together, they make for an excellent book.

Anderson has been called the American Van Gogh. He painted extensively and kept voluminous journals. He, like Van Gogh, used brilliant color, and he, like Van Gogh, suffered from mental illness.

The illustrations in this book are beautifully painted and the story of Anderson’s life is told with love and respect and admiration.

The author’s note is a biography of Anderson’s life and an explanation of how she came to write the book. She came to live in Anderson’s town and her husband worked as director of the Walter Anderson Museum of Art there. She includes a bibliography at the back of the book as well.

Comments from children:
Sydney, 6, said, “I liked the part where he painted the room and the horse.”
Leyah, 7, said, “I liked the first part.”
Jayme, 7, said, “I liked his painting.”
Destany, 6, said, “I liked when he painted the horse.”
Vanessa, 6, said, “I liked when the boat dropped the bananas and he let the raccoon eat it.”
Robin, 6, said, “I liked when he painted the room.”
Israel, 6, said, “I liked when he dropped the bananas.”
5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5,


  1. Books are awesome
    Books are great
    Congratulations on reading so much
    You’re first rate!

  2. That's an interesting cover! Happy reading!


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