Grade Levels

Discuss Michelle Markel and Amanda Hall’s award-winning biography of artist Henri Rousseau with your classroom, book club, or other group. Including reading questions and activity ideas, this free downloadable pdf will jumpstart conversations and invite reflection on the story. Thematic connections include creativity, determination, persistence, courage, and art history.

About The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau: Henri Rousseau wanted to be an artist. But he had no formal training. Instead, he taught himself to paint. He painted until the jungles and animals and distant lands in his head came alive on the space of his canvases.

Henri Rousseau endured the harsh critics of his day and created the brilliant paintings that now hang in museums around the world. Michelle Markel’s vivid text, complemented by the vibrant illustrations of Amanda Hall, artfully introduces young readers to the beloved painter and encourages all readers to persevere despite all odds.

Awards and honors for The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau include:

  • 2013 Pen/Steven Kroll Award
  • 2012 Best Illustrated Children’s Books of the Year
  • Bank Street College Best Children’s Books of the Year
  • Booklist Top Ten Arts Books for Youth