Listen to the cannons boom, pat tortillas, count the pictures, smell the fragrant flowers, and sip a cup of tea. Raczka suggests that art can be experienced, not only visually, but also through sound, smell, touch, and taste as well. Of course he’s not encouraging his young readers to actually sniff or touch the paintings, but to be fully engaged by a work of art. Each sense has its own section with a very brief introduction.
Using a wide variety of well-chosen paintings, Raczka adds an appropriate phrase to further illustrate his premise. In several cases, he enlarges a detail from the painting to focus on the sense depicted. He labels every painting with its title, artist, date, and the collection in which it’s contained and presents a further bit of information about each painter in an illustrated alphabetical listing. This is a work to examine again and again. A delightful, insightful introduction to the world of art. (Nonfiction/picture book. 4-8)