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

by Amy Novesky and Yuyi Morales

Lyrical writing distinguishes the narrative of a picture book about Georgia O’Keeffe’s... read more

Lyrical writing distinguishes the narrative of a picture book about Georgia O’Keeffe’s 1939 trip to Hawaii, made at the invitation of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company. O’Keeffe had been commissioned to do two paintings to “promote the delights of pineapple juice” (Really!). But once she arrives, Georgia resents the company telling her she can’t go into the fields to see the plants up close, and she refuses to let the company dictate what she will paint. “Georgia painted waterfalls and green pleated mountains, lava hardened into fantastic shapes, and delicate, feathered fishhooks that she collected like seashells.” She also enjoys meeting local field workers, ranchers, and artists, and seeing the many kinds of beauty on the islands. But she still doesn’t want to paint a pineapple. In the end, however, Georgia feels the trip to Hawaii has given her so much and she gives in to the company’s request—on her own terms. Her final painting is titled “Pineapple Bud.” Yuyi Morales’s sumptuous illustrations are a perfect accompaniment to the story. (Ages 6–10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2013

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