“The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art“ by Barb Rosenstock is about the artist Vasily Kandinsky, or Vasya as he is known in the book. When young Vasya is given a box of paints by his aunt, the paints began to hiss and sing when mixed together! Vasya’s reserved family never knew what his paintings were supposed to look like (was it a house or a flower?), but to Vasya it wasn’t representation, it was about the music that the combinations and arrangements of different colors made. Vasya eventually uses his talents and creativity to paint the first completely abstract painting. It is thought that Kandinsky had synesthesia, a rare condition where the senses are blended, which is why he could hear the colors. Kandinsky turned this possible challenge into a gift which gave him unique perspective on his art.
Throughout the book, Vasya tries to do everything that is proper and expected of him, but in the end he listens to the sound of paints and follows his dream. This book is a great conversation starter for a variety of different topics, such as taking chances, the senses and abstract art. Continue reading