In the early 1500s, in Italy—the time and place of Da Vinci and Mona Lisa—a paintbrush longs to paint in the hands of one of the great painters. That would be perfect. Unfortunately, its only stand-out feature is a crack running through its handle. Its supply of hope is running out. But Alessa, Mona Lisa’s young niece, is just the person to give a broken paintbrush a brand-new perspective on what “perfect” means.
I received this book from the author for free. This is a voluntary review, therefore, all comments and opinions are entirely my own.
As I was privileged to read an ARC of this book by debut authors Rachel Rogers and Buddy Lieberman, I entered into the world of The Broken Paintbrush with no idea what to expect. No other reviews existed when I heard about this book, so I took a chance to read based solely on the passion that I saw the authors had for this story. And upon closing the pages, the smile on my face confirmed that the authors’ passion had been successfully brought to life with this book.
The Broken Paintbrush is a story set in Italy during Da Vinci’s time, the painter of whom everyone knows his name. But this isn’t a story that focuses on the brilliance of the man who gave us the Mona Lisa, it’s the story of a broken, little paintbrush who just wants to paint something. After years of sitting in the store without catching the eye of a single painter, the broken paintbrush hears that he has been selected by “the master painter”. But, the broken paintbrush is in for a large surprise once he arrives at his new home.
What made The Broken Paintbrush so precious to me was the journey that the paintbrush took. He went from devaluing himself and thinking himself worthless because he was broken, to getting a taste of fame and suddenly thought of himself as better than others, to being humiliated and let down again, only to finally realize that no matter what his situation was, his value was priceless in the hands of someone who loved him. This is just a beautiful message to convey to young readers and it made me smile.
In light of readership, I do think for very young readers (younger than 7 or 8), this book would have difficulty keeping their attention because you won’t be flipping pages very quickly. The story is told in large chunks with beautiful illustrations, so I would estimate that the ideal audience is 7-10 based on how much your little one likes to listen to/read stories.
Overall, I give The Broken Paintbrush by Rachel Rogers and Buddy Lieberman 5 out of 5 stars!