Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo

These books celebrate the work of two of Mexico's most beloved artists, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. The selections cover a wide range of topics and time periods; some focus on the artists' childhoods; some focus on their complicated marriage and time spent in the U.S.; still others focus on their unique styles and sources of inspiration, including a special title by Diego Rivera's daughter.

Whether young readers are looking for biographical information or simply want to learn more about painting, these recommendations offer a great place to start!

Diego

Illustrated by: Jeanette Winter
Age Level: 6-9

The early life of Mexican muralist Diego Rivera is presented in simple, yet revealing language in both Spanish and English. Accompanied by richly colored illustrations, this book is reminiscent of the folk art and themes in Rivera's work.

Diego Rivera

Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: This book from Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists series provides an entertaining and humorous introduction to the famous artist, Diego Rivera. Full-color reproductions of the actual paintings are enhanced by Venezia's clever illustrations and story line.

Diego Rivera: His World and Ours

Age Level: 6-9

Duncan Tonatiuh introduces young readers to muralist Diego Rivera and his many sources of inspiration, such as the Cubism movement that he discovered in Paris, the ruins of ancient Mexican civilizations, and the daily lives of the Mexican people. He concludes by asking, "What would Diego Rivera paint today?" These intriguing reflections are brought to life by Tonatiuh's compelling, playful illustrations which evoke some of Diego's best known scenes and murals. 2012 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award.

Diego: Bigger Than Life

Illustrated by: David Diaz
Age Level: 9-12

Product Description: Carmen T. Bernier-Grand's inspiring free verse and David Diaz's vivid paintings capture the defining moments and emotions of Rivera's tumultuous life, including his stormy relationship with artist Frida Kahlo and his passion for his art. Rivera's energy, physique, love for women, and work were all "bigger than life." A biography, chronology, glossary, sources, notes, and famous quotations are included.

Frida

Illustrated by: Ana Juan
Age Level: 3-6

In this refreshing tribute to Frida Kahlo and her imagination, Jonah Winter writes, "Frida doesn't cry or complain. Instead of crying, she paints pictures of herself crying." Winter gently explores how her suffering shapes her artwork in a way that children will be able to understand. Ana Juan's colorful fantasies evoke Frida's unique style and paintings.

Frida Kahlo

Age Level: 6-9

This book from Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists series provides an engaging introduction to Frida Kahlo using engaging photographs, cartoons, and illustrations.

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: Their Lives and Ideas, 24 Activities

Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: Children will find artistic inspiration as they learn about iconic artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera in these imaginative and colorful activities. The art and ideas of Kahlo and Rivera are explored through projects that include painting a self-portrait Kahlo-style, creating a mural with a social message like Rivera, making a Day of the Dead ofrenda, and crafting an Olmec head carving.

Frida Kahlo: The Artist in the Blue House

Age Level: 9-12

Product Description: This book introduces children to the themes that infused Kahlo's vibrant paintings, while demonstrating her brilliant gift for combining life and art. Monkeys, trees, deer, family members, friends, flowers, tears and wheelchairs — Frida Kahlo's use of symbolism and color wonderfully lends itself to teaching children about the artistic process. What was the artist thinking? Why is Frida's head smaller than Diego's? Was she happy when she painted this picture, or was she sad?

Frida Kahlo: The Artist who Painted Herself

Illustrated by: Tomie dePaola
Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: Through original artwork by the renowned artist Tomie dePaola — a longtime aficionado of Frida Kahlo's work — as well as beautiful reproductions of Kahlo's paintings, this latest Smart About book explores the creative, imaginative world of Mexico's most celebrated female artist.

Frida: Viva la Vida! Long Live Life!

Age Level: 9-12

In twenty-six original, free-verse poems the author depicts the thoughts, feelings, and life events of Mexican self-portraitist Frida Kahlo. The poems are accompanied by twenty-four full-color reproductions of Kahlo's paintings. Substantial background materials include a biographical sketch, chronology, and glossary.

Me, Frida

Illustrated by: David Diaz
Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: Like a tiny bird in a big city, Frida Kahlo feels lost and lonely when she arrives in San Francisco with her husband, the famous artist Diego Rivera. It is the first time she has left her home in Mexico. And Frida wants to be a painter too. But as Frida begins to explore San Francisco on her own, she discovers more than the beauty, diversity, and exuberance of America. She finds the inspiration she needs to become one of the most celebrated artists of all time.

My Papa Diego and Me

Age Level: 9-12

"In this beautiful bilingual picture book, Diego Rivera's daughter has brought together 14 of her father's original works with a focus on those depicting children. Each well-reproduced painting is accompanied by a brief discussion describing the historical or cultural details of the time. The author also weaves in her own memories and those of her father, making the book personal yet accessible." — School Library Journal

Viva Frida

Age Level: 6-9

In this visually stunning tribute to Frida Kahlo, artist Yuyi Morales offers a representation of Kahlo's creative process with stop-motion puppet and paintings, photographed by Tim O'Meara. The result is a work of art in and of itself lovingly created to honor Kahlo, and Morales shares her own process of creating the book in this video.  Since the text is limited, more biographical information can be found in the books featured on our Diego & Frida children's booklist.