Posted in picture books

Women to Know: Frida Kahlo

The Two Fridas: Memories Written by Frida Kahlo, Illustrated by Gianluca Folì, (March 2021, Schiffer Kids), $18.99, ISBN: 9780764361166

Ages 5-8

When most people think of Frida Kahlo, they usually think of adult Frida, with flowers in her hair and thick eyebrows. Maybe they’ll think of her love for animals and her many pets. The Two Fridas, taken from the artist’s own diary, introduces readers to a younger Frida; a child who creates an imaginary friend and a fantasy world. The “other” Frida is a friend that will always listen to Frida’s “secret problems” and will always play and laugh with her. The Two Fridas is a peek into a child’s imaginary world; artwork in shades of grey, black and white has minimal, quiet color to emphasize Frida’s journey into her fantasy world. At the conclusion, we realize that this is Frida’s own recollection, as the art moves into an artist’s workroom, with the Frida people have come to know, seated and working on a self-portrait. The Two Fridas lets children know that it’s okay to have an imaginary place to go, an imaginary friend to spend time with, and to take that joy with you into adulthood. A biographical note on Kahlo talks about the artist’s relationship to her sisters, the ailments that kept Frida home, even bedridden, and the imaginary friend that meant so much to her that she dedicated a painting to her in 1939. Originally published in Spanish in 2019, The Two Fridas provides a new look at an iconic artist.

For more information about Frida Kahlo, visit The Frida Kahlo Foundation and The Blue House, the museum located in Frida’s former residence.  The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has a page dedicated to her. Education.com has a free, downloadable biography worksheet on the artist, and Teachers Pay Teachers has many free activities for all ages, including Llamame Spanish’s Spanish-language biography worksheet, Art with Mrs E’s coloring sheet, Lindsey Carter’s Frida paper doll, and Fun for Spanish Teacher’s presentation.