Camille and the Sunflowers

A Story About Vincent van Gogh

Author and Illustrator:  Laurence Anholt


I have always thought that sunflowers were most appropriately named; for just looking at one brings such pleasure, as though you’ve been given your own little piece of sunshine to enjoy.

In our story, Camille must have felt much the same way. For when the stranger with a straw hat and yellow beard moved to town, Camille and his father welcomed him with household gifts and a huge bunch of sunflowers in a big brown pot.  How surprised they were to find out that their new friend, Vincent, was a painter! He painted Camille’s father, mother, big brother, baby sister, and finally, Camille himself.  Camille was very excited and shared the painting with his friends.  But instead of the townspeople encouraging Vincent, they teased him and said he should get a real job.

Before Vincent packed up to leave for a new town,  he painted one last picture.  He especially wanted Camille to see it before he left.  Can you guess what it was?  YES!  Vincent lifted down a big picture and there were Camille’s sunflowers!  They were more bright and beautiful than ever.   “Goodbye, Sunflower Man,” he whispered.

As you know, people have learned to love the marvelous paintings of Vincent van Gogh.   His work is displayed in museums and galleries all over the world.  See if you can find pictures of The Starry Night, The Yellow House, The Sunflowers, and the paintings of Camille and his family.  There is even a self-portrait of him wearing his straw hat!


Van Gogh Self-Portrait with Straw Hat 1887

Mary Byrne Kline


  1. Barbara Kline says:

    This book is a delight. It does not stay on the shelf in our library!! The review captures the book and the artist well.

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