Set in a Tahitian village very much like the ones Gauguin painted, this beautifully illustrated book draws on the figures in Gauguin's painting Arearea, or "Happiness"--two women, a red dog, and a large stone idol--to weave a simple but profound tale. Vahine-Noa, queen of daylight, lives for happiness and color while her sister, Vahine Po, queen of the night, lives for her dreams, darkness, and silence.
Bringing these two women together is a young boy, Tevai, and his dog, who undergo a magical experience that unites their village and helps them understand the importance of being true to your feelings. Throughout the story, Vanessa Hié's gorgeous illustrations recall Gauguin's colorful, mystical paintings of the South Seas. The book closes with a stunning reproduction of its inspiration, Gauguin's painting Arearea. Children will be drawn into Hié's intricate paintings as they follow Tevai's story, which, along with a brief introduction to Gauguin and his work, offers a superb look into the life and art of this hugely influential artist.
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