Cover image for Out of this world: the surreal art of Leonora Carrington
Out of this world: the surreal art of Leonora Carrington
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2019]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 x 27 cm
Chronicles the life and works of the surrealist artist, who created some of the most enigmatic and startling works of the twentieth century.
Added Author:


Material Type
Call Number
Children's Book 927.592 Carri
Children's Book 927.592 Carri
Children's Book 927.592 Carri

On Order



A gorgeously illustrated picture book biography about the fascinating life of surrealist artist Leonora Carrington, from Michelle Markel and Amanda Hall, the acclaimed team behind The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau.

Ever since she was a little girl, Leonora Carrington loved to draw on walls, in books, on paper--and she loved the fantastic tales her grandmother told that took her to worlds that shimmered beyond this one, where legends became real.

Leonora's parents wanted her to become a proper English lady, but there was only one thing she wanted, even if it was unsuitable: to be an artist. In London, she discovered a group of artists called surrealists, who were stunning the world with their mysterious creations. This was the kind of art she had to make. This was the kind of person she had to be.

From life in Paris creating art alongside Max Ernst, to Mexico where she met Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, Leonora's life became intertwined with powerful events and people that shaped the twentieth century.

Out of This World is the powerful, stunningly told story of Leonora Carrington, a girl who made art out of her imagination and created some of the most enigmatic and startling works of the last eighty years.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-Markel describes the journey of Leonora Carrington from her privileged childhood and her mutinous days as a school girl to her flourishing career in Paris and Mexico City. In the narrative, Carrington's imagination turns domestic spaces and scenes of war into fantastical landscapes full of animal-women and mystical creatures. Surrealism is explained discreetly as Carrington paints against conventions of class, gender, and aesthetics. Hall's illustrations effectively mimic Carrington's style, with wonky perspectives, muted backgrounds, contrasting flashes of color, and delicate line work. The more famous (mostly male) surrealists whom Carrington befriended are never allowed to upstage her story. Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera saunter by on one page; the "leader" of the surrealists remains unnamed lurking in a corner. Carrington's relationship with Max Ernst receives far less page-space than the strong female friendship she shared with Remedios Varo. In a time where STEM narratives for girls are gaining ground, Carrington's happy obsession with "cats, stones, and magic crystals" provides a reminder that rebellion comes in different forms. Despite being born into a wealthy family, the artist pursued a career that ensured she was "never rich and never proper." VERDICT For budding artists who are searching for a bridge between Barb Rosenstock's Vincent Can't Sleep and Javaka Steptoe's Radiant Child.-Katherine Magyarody, -Texas A&M University, College Station © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

This striking picture book biography focuses on surrealist artist Leonora Carrington and her influences. Inspired by her grandmother's stories, which took her "to worlds that shimmered beyond this one," Carrington's sensibilities eventually made her simpatico with the French surrealists. When Germany invaded Western Europe, she fled to Mexico, where she continued to develop her fantastical style, rejecting confining gender expectations in the process: "Her women did things they didn't do in paintings made by men. Instead of lying on a couch, they were listening to the stars.... They were friends with monkeys, Minotaurs, and mythic birds." Rather than recreating Carrington's artwork, Hall complements the artist's imagery through her own strange and radiant mixed-media spreads. Ages 4-8. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Having previously collaborated on The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau (rev. 11/12), Markel and Hall now explore the life of artist Leonora Carrington (19172011). Born into a wealthy English family, the creative and strong-willed young woman convinced her parents to send her to art school in London, where she met Max Ernst and joined his coterie of surrealists. Carrington then moved with him to Paris and painted there until the Nazis invaded France. She fled to Mexico, where she spent the rest of her life, always making art. Markel distills Carringtons experiences into succinct prose full of vigor and imagery. Leonora felt safe. She felt strong. She popped a chocolate into her mouth and reached for a paintbrush. She painted a house filled with enchanted women. Halls dreamlike illustrations take the book to a near fantastical level. Vivid colors, pulsating patterns, and swooping lines make each scene a strikingly original image as well as an homage to Carringtons own art (although the book includes no reproductions of her paintings). From the covers to the endpapers to everything in between, this is a glorious look at a woman artist who did exactly what she wanted to do at a time when few were able to do so. Appended with an authors note (which delivers more specific information about Carringtons life than does the main text), an illustrators note, and a brief selected bibliography. monica edinger March/April 2019 p 103(c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Spectral fairies, soaring women, an infant in a luminous crescent-moon cradle, a human-faced hyena these are a few of the wondrous images filling the pages of this colorful picture-book biography of surrealist painter Leonora Carrington. Born in 1917 to wealthy parents in England, Carrington chafed against their attempt to turn her into a proper lady. Instead, she longed to set her wild imagination free and become an artist. Markel follows Carrington's formative experience in France with Max Ernst and other surrealist artists, whose dreamlike art gave her strange feelings, wondrous as fairy tales and unlocked her own fanciful style. This is echoed in Hall's mixed-media illustrations, which use rich, vibrant colors and curving lines to conjure Carrington's passionate creativity. Her flight to Mexico to escape WWII is magnificently depicted on a two-page spread, aglow in orange and violet, where a winged boat packed with refugees sails from a city in flames; and it's in Mexico that Carrington's career truly takes off. The text and illustrations combine in a way that will help young readers understand surreal art and how Carrington used this style to break free of conventional opinions and depictions of women. Author's and illustrator's notes provide greater insight into Carrington's life and art. Another fantastic collaboration by the creators of The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau (2012).--Julia Smith Copyright 2018 Booklist