Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Books to Help Your Child Develop an Appreciation for Art

On Monday, I reviewed Bob Raczka's The Art of Freedom: How Artists See America, which introduces children to 18 artists and works of art. See my review here. Here are some more "kid-friendly" books that will introduce art in a manner that won't overwhelm them and may help them develop a deeper appreciation for art. Who knows, perhaps they will inspire your child to become an artist.

The Art Book for Children, Book Two by Editors of Phaedon Press
From Booklist: "Art critic and Phaidon editor, Ruggi offers an excellent, accessible introduction to art that speaks directly to children without condescension. A wide range of artists, from the Renaissance to today, is represented, and each spread features a large color reproduction of a famous work. Interactive questions and simple observations invite children to consider the artists' decisions and connect what is pictured to their own experience."

I Spy Shapes in Art by Lucy Micklethwait
From Booklist: "Micklethwait's latest title uses stunning reproductions of artworks to introduce elemental concepts. Here, the focus is on shapes. Preschoolers will be able to search for ovals, squares, hearts, and more within large, sharp images of famous art, such as Henri Matisse's paper collage The Snail and Paul Klee's painting Around the Fish, which are set against glossy white pages."

Museum ABC by The (NY) Metropolitan Museum of Art
From Publisher's Weekly: "Images fine and funky accompany each letter of the alphabet in three noteworthy offerings. Museum ABC from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, for example, announces "A is for Apple" while, opposite, a full-color spread divided into quadrants presents the evidence with details from Roy Lichtenstein's Red Apple, a detail from Paul Cezanne's Apples and two other works from the museum's collection."

Vincent's Colors by Vincent Van Gogh
From School Library Journal: "This text is pulled directly from the letters Van Gogh wrote about his paintings to his brother, Theo. Each line of the rhyming stanzas is accompanied by a rich, full-color reproduction of one of the artist's key works, including Sunflowers, The Bedroom, and The Starry Night. Van Gogh's poetic descriptions will hold the attention of young readers; even preschoolers will enjoy the simple text and vibrant pictures."

Touch the Art: Brush Mona Lisa's Hairby Julie Appel and Amy Guglielmo
From School Library Journal: "These board books, illustrated with some of the most famous Western masterpieces, encourage children to "touch the art." Each volume draws on a particular period, with Mona Lisa's Hair featuring the work of the Renaissance and Van Gogh's Bed the Impressionists. For each reproduction, a tactile element has been superimposed; for example, an earring on Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring and a piece of tulle on one of Degas' ballerinas."

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