Camille And The Sunflowers (A story about Vincent van Gogh) - Laurence Anholt (1994)

        Vincent van Gogh was an acclaimed painter. But often, it was  poverty and unrecognition, entwined his life. This book opens up one small portion of his life in Arles, where he painted his masterpieces.

A starry night dream

        Camille lives in a small town, where sunflowers are bright. His father is a postman. One day he meets a strange man in his town. Little does he know that the strange man is going to be a part of history one day.

        When the strange man, Vincent, moves into the Yellow House, Camille's family helped him a lot. Camille adores the genius  of Vincent ("Sunflower Man" to Camille), as Vincent paints portraits of everyone in the family. Soon,Vincent  is asked to move out of town by the village people, as his genius is not recognized by them. What happens afterwards? What happens to the sunflowers, that Camille gave to Vincent?

       "Those sunflowers, Camille gave to Vincent Van Gogh, are eternal now, thanks to the art of the renowned painter"

My Comments:

            This book may talk about one sorrowful portion of van Gogh's life. But it fills every reader's heart with the warmth of friendship and a totally diversified biography. (To say the truth, I was double-hearted in introducing this book to my kids, due to the underlying sorrow of unrecognized brilliance. But, finally I made the right decision to read).

             What would you expect in a book about van Gogh? Illustrations, yes. The illustrator (author himself) has done a charming work in watercoloring van Gogh and in reproducing his famous works. When the text emits the tone of sadness, the illustrations array the brightness of starry sky and sunflowers.

             Vincent van Gogh's life could have been full of grief. But, I am sure every parent would be happy to read this biography to their kids.

ISBN 10 : 0-8120-6409-7            &            ISBN 15 : 978-0-8120-6409-4 (Hardcover)

Published By: Barron's 

Number of Pages : 32

Classification : Biography (Vincent van Gogh)

Age : Kindergartener, Grades 1 to 3



  1. Vincent's story saddens me deeply. I hope, somehow, he now knows what a genius he was, how adored he is, and that he rests peacefully. Have you seen the episode of Doctor Who named "Vincent and the Doctor"? It's beautiful, just like this books looks to be.

    1. You are right. Whenever I think of his life, I am also thinking about the pain, which he would have lived with. How great it would be, if he knows that he is celebrated by the world now? Thanks for mentioning the video. I googled for it and watched it. It was wonderful.

  2. I can see how this would be a tough one to read to kids, but sometimes we shy away from the hard topics too much. This looks like a beautiful way to address them. Stopping by from the KLBH.

    1. Yes, my kids would have missed this great book, if I have shied away. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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