Book of the Month Archive

Emily Carr: An Introduction to Her Life and Art

By Anne Newlands
Published by Firefly Books
ISBN #1-55209-046-9

In a lovely and clearly-written blend of Emily Carr’s artwork and biography, Newland combines her own words with selections from Carr’s writings and comments. The book follows Carr’s journey along Canada’s West Coast, where she spent much of her adult life and was inspired by First Nations villages and totems. Students will gain familiarity with the plucky and unconventional Carr, and will recognize her stunning paintings of endless sky, warm arbutus trees, and lush evergreens.

Each page spread depicts a written segment, which spotlight topics pertaining to Carr’s life such as her youth, her sketching trips, her correspondences and her commitment to First Nations art. The opposite page features a piece of Carr’s artwork that connects to the writing. This format creates ideal vignettes for the classroom teacher, as an art or humanities class can focus on Emily Carr one aspect at a time. This would also make for a great research and synthesis assignment: students could each receive one section (2 pages) as their assigned reading on Carr, and in turn they must present their findings on that feature of her life’s history and how it inspired/affected her art.

Emily Carr: An Introduction to Her Life and Art is a beautifully laid-out and accessible book that will inspire young readers to seek out her artwork and learn more about this amazing, indelible Canadian icon.

Find more books by Anne Newlands at:

Find out more about Emily Carr at: (a BC Ministry of Education recommended site.)

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