Following up If Picasso Painted a Snowman (2017), introductions to 19 more painters and their best-known styles.
In line with the previous gallery, the Newbolds dispatch a shiny-eyed hamster docent to squire young viewers past a set of full-page or larger scenes that imitate famous, or at least representative, paintings—with prehistoric elements, mostly dinosaurs, in each. The virtual museum tour begins with a Vitruvian Microraptor à la Leonardo and ends with a finely rendered Dino Lisa (a gowned maiasaura, according to the key at the end, but looking more than a little like Jar Jar Binks). In between he dishes up Dégas-style ballet dancers, plesiosaurs surfing a version of Hokusai’s Great Wave off Kanagawa, a can of Andy Warhol’s Dino Noodle Soup, Mark Rothko color fields declared to represent layers of prehistoric rocks, and more. Other artists include Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Qi Baishi, Loïs Mailou Jones, Harrison Begay, and Marguerite Zorach. The accompanying captions incline toward wordplay: “Cassius Coolidge crates a Cretaceous card game”; “BOOM! CRASH! CRUNK! Here comes a dinosaur by Edvard Munch!” Like the art, some dinos are actual ones, others fanciful. Leonardo is an outlier in this 18th- to 20th-century company (Begay alone lived into the 21st), but the lineup is at least as varied in school or style as the previous one and more diverse of sex, race, and national background than both its predecessor and many others of its ilk. Would-be Leonardos will find both an invitingly blank page to fill at the end and elementary prompts from the versatile illustrator.
Art history with a little smile. (thumbnail biographies) (Informational picture book. 5-9)