Edible art is one of my favorite things. Combine food, art, and children’s literature and you have a triple treat. Today, we are combining the art of Henri Matisse with cookie decorating, and the book, Henri’s Scissors. Let’s get artsy.
Let’s Read and Learn
First, grab a copy of Henri’s Scissors by Jeanette Winter. It’s an overview story of the life of Henri Matisse. In the book, we learn that Matisse’s most famous and recognizable pieces came about because of a limiting illness that left him confined to wheelchair. This bright and colorful book works well even with young children.
Other books about Matisse you may enjoy exploring together include Henry Matisse Painting with Scissors by Jane O’Connor and Matisse the King of Color by Laurence Anholt.
Here are a few fun tidbits to share about Henri Matisse with the kids.
- Matisse was born in 1869 in France.
- He made art from his bed later in life when he became ill. That is when the iconic shapes cut from bold papers became part of his art.
- Matisse’s work was heavily influenced by other artists that he met and works he studied. Matisse’s style was always changing.
- He knew Picasso.A fun and playful book that explores the relationship between Picasso and Matisse is When Pigasso Met Mootisse by Nina Laden.
To further the learning, find France on a map with the kids. You could also figure out how old Matisse would be if he were still alive today.
Matisse used scissors to create bright and bold images from paper. We are going to use fruit leather as our edible “paper” and a clean pair of scissors.
Have the children cut Matisse-like shapes from the fruit leather. Try to keep the length of each piece under 5 cm. Set the pieces aside and prepare the cookies.
We chose to use a basic sugar cookie recipe and American buttercream vanilla frosting. If you didn’t want to bake cookies, you can also use store bought. You could even swap out the cookies and frosting for plain rice cakes and cream cheese.
Once the cookies and frosting are made, you are ready to let your creative side flourish. Frost each cookie with a thin layer of
frosting. Lay the fruit leather pieces on top of the frosting in a creative Matisse looking design. The process is a little addictive.
Speaking of addictive. It will be hard to just eat one of these creations. Enjoy eating a few while talking about the work and life of Henri Matisse.
Let your creativity flow by making other artsy edible treats.