Skip to main content
Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Iridescence of Birds

The Iridescence of Birds

A Book About Henri Matisse

Patricia MacLachlan; illustrated by Hadley Hooper

Roaring Brook Press


If you were a boy named Henri Matisse who lived in a dreary town in northern France, what would your life be like? Would it be full of color and art? Full of lines and dancing figures?

Find out in this beautiful, unusual picture book about one of the world's most famous and influential artists by acclaimed author and Newbery Medal-winning Patricia MacLachlan and innovative illustrator Hadley Hooper.

A Neal Porter Book

CCBC Choice (Univ. of WI), Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, Booklist's Editor's Choices, ALA Notable Children's Books, Booklist Editors' Choice, Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year, School Library Best Books of the Year, School Library Journal Best Books of the Year

Praise for The Iridescence of Birds

“A spacious and beautiful book, as much a lesson for adults on visual enrichment and nurturing a creative spirit as an introductory biography for children.” —The Horn Book

“*Glorious . . . Effective page turns and the accretion of detail in both text and illustration take readers on a journey.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“*The book gives off a creative energy that readers of all ages will find fulfilling . . . A poetic look at creativity, both natural and nurtured.” —School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

“*In two long, lyrical sentences, Patricia MacLachlan wonders about the early years of Henri Matisse . . . an essential, spirited picture book.” —Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“*It's a sumptuous meditation on the way artists see and feel, one that possesses an iridescence of its own.” —Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW


Reviews from Goodreads

Patricia MacLachlan; illustrated by Hadley Hooper

Patricia MacLachlan is the author of many novels for children, including the Newbery Medal-winning Sarah, Plain and Tall; Baby; Waiting for the Magic; and The Truth of Me. Among her picture books are What You Know First and Lala Salama. She lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and her old dog, Emmet.
Hadley Hooper works as an editorial illustrator for numerous magazines and newspapers. In 2011 she illustrated Here Come the Girl Scouts! by Shana Corey. The Iridescence of Birds is her second picture book and first for Roaring Brook Press. She lives in Denver, Colorado.

Patricia MacLachlan

Roaring Brook Press

Latest on Facebook