An all-too-brief introduction to art for the younger set.
Alexander and Hamilton have previously teamed up on titles in the wonderfully accessible and affordable A Child’s Introduction to… series. This lively and kidcentric entry highlights 40 big names, mostly European and male artists (Michelangelo, Pierre-Auguste Monet, Diego Velázquez, Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, etc.), in a series of two-page spreads grouped thematically. The book’s handsome design captivates with an inviting cover and appealing 10-inch square trim. Though very heavy on the classics of European painting and sculpture, Alexander’s accessible and readable text effectively combines with Hamilton’s fluid, ink-and-watercolor vignettes and well-chosen reproductions of “signature” works. Further enlivened by intriguing, informative sidebars on theory, movements and techniques, it also features many related hand-on projects. A few very small nods of recognition to Asian, ancient Greek and Roman, Egyptian, African and Native American art are offered—though at 96 pages one could hardly expect an inclusive, definitive resource. And it is light on diversity: Mary Cassatt is the only woman receiving a two-page spread, and Jacob Lawrence is the sole African-American painter. But then the only other Americans among this artistic Top 40 are Winslow Homer, Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol.
Limited scope notwithstanding, this is terrific for browsing, thinking, dreaming and art-making. (index, timeline, removable coloring sheets) (Nonfiction. 9-14)