Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Georgia in Hawaii: When Georgia O’Keeffe Painted What She Pleased

Novesky, Amy (Author)
Morales, Yuyi (Illustrator)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2012. 36 pages
First published: 2012
ISBN: 9780152054205 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Dewey: 759.13
Book type: Non-Fiction
Book genre: Biography

Text Elements:

character, setting

Award

Boston Globe-Horn Honor Book – 2012

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Commissioned by the Hawaiian Pineapple Company in 1939 to paint two works to “promote the delights of pineapple juice,” Georgia O’Keeffe spent three months in Hawaii. When the company denied her request to paint pineapples in their natural environment, she refused to paint one. This visually stunning picture book delights with exquisite jewel-toned illustrations reflecting O’Keefe’s bold artistic style. And, not least, it profiles a passionate and determined artist.

Words are descriptively poetic of the Hawaiian Islands’ natural beauty: “green pleated mountains,” black sand beaches” and “lava hardened into fantastic shapes.” The text complements double-spread images of a turquoise ocean, black beaches, emerald-hued fields and glorious tropical flowers. Together, the text and images deliver the reader to locations O’Keeffe visited – many of them key to Hawaii’s prosperity at that time – pineapple fields, mill towns surrounded by sugar plantations, cattle ranches.

When O’Keeffe returned home, not one of the 20 paintings she had created showed a pineapple. The company was not happy. But she stood firm, until fond memories softened her resolve and she gave them what they wanted.

The book includes author and illustrator’s notes, a bibliography, a map of the islands and endpapers with captioned images of the tropical flowers that appear in O’Keeffe’s paintings.

  •  Locate Hawaii on a map. View some teacher-selected images of Hawaii. Share your prior knowledge about the islands. As you read, reflect on the importance of the setting to the plot.
  •  Make a character map of Georgia O’Keeffe. Make connections between her actions and her traits.
  •  

    Read the illustrator’s note and research the paintings she references. Compare the original paintings and discuss how they are incorporated into the illustrations.

  •  What role does sponsorship play in advertising products? Do you think Georgia was right or wrong to refuse to paint the pineapple?
  •  Locate Hawaii on a map. View some teacher-selected images of Hawaii. Share your prior knowledge about the islands. As you read, reflect on the importance of the setting to the plot.
  •  

    Go for a picture walk. Discuss the art, the setting and the emotions portrayed. Make predictions about the story and write them on a class list. Confirm your predictions after the read-aloud.

  •  

    Make a character map of Georgia O’Keeffe. Compare yours with a partner's to complete your map. Make connections between her actions and her traits.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • Visual Arts