Sarah's Stars

Rick Jacobson. The Master's Apprentice
Tundra $22.99  ISBN 978-0-88776-783-8  32 pg.
Reviewed by Lindsey, Age 14

"I'm sorry, master. I can give you the paint, but I cannot tell you how I made it. I promised my father I would not."

Young Marco has the honour of being apprenticed to a master artist. Unfortunately, he has to leave his mother, father and brother and venture alone into his new life in Florence. But things quickly start to take a turn for the worse when his fellow apprentice attempts to trick Marco into disobeying their master. Then he deceives Marco into running a false errand, thus rendering him late for the actual apprenticeship. Finally Marco decides that to make up for his mistakes, he will brew his master one of his family's top-secret paint colours, a glimmering emerald green. He wins over his gruff master and earns himself a position as an apprentice in Rome. Who is this master painter anyway? His name is Buonarrotti. Michelangelo Buonarrotti...

Marco's story is a pleasant, eye-catching read that offers a glimpse into the Italy of days long past, when up-and-coming painters were revered for their art while they were still actually alive. The story is longer than most picture books so it isn't for anyone too terribly young but fledgling readers will be pleased when they can make it through without assistance. I really liked the art in the book. It was realistic in a sense but also a little bit cartoonish which was nice and I found it very beautiful to look at. A mini lesson in keeping promises and working hard lies within the pages as well as a nice little background information on Michelangelo at the end of the story.

I give Rick Jacobson's The Master's Apprentice four stars.

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