A CHILD'S BOOK OF PLAY IN ART

As is true of her previous books, Micklethwait (I Spy a Freight Train, p. 902, etc.) begins with the premise that art is accessible to everyone. By asking simple questions and playing easy matching games, readers learn to identify basic emotions and messages that are communicated through the universal language of images. Viewers are asked to find the hoop players in both Brueghel's ``Children's Games'' and a Japanese print of the same name, or to compare van Gogh's ``Bedroom at Arles'' with Lichtenstein's later rendition of the same room. Emotions, faces, smells, and animal noises are some of the ways Micklethwait invites children into these works of art. The color reproductions are excellent; a large format and roomy design allow readers to explore the paintings in detail. Included are well-known works and less familiar ones, with an emphasis on Western art. The most significant segment may be when readers are asked to make up their own stories of what's going on in several paintings. The stories behind the paintings are included, but the message is that what readers see in a painting has validity, that art need not be an elite subject. (Nonfiction. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 1996

ISBN: 0-7894-1003-6

Page Count: 45

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1996

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BUSY, BUSY SQUIRRELS

A longer—but less interesting—text than the author's Never Kiss an Alligator (1989) and Elephants on the Beach (1990). Introducing both tree and and ground squirrels, with information on how they eat, live, and protect themselves plus some appealing bits on baby squirrels, the pedestrian text begins, ``Squirrels are furry, bright, lively little animals that are very busy,'' and concludes, ``Good night, busy squirrels, good night.'' The many appealing, colorful close-up photos are the best feature here. Index. (Nonfiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-525-65063-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1991

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I LIKE CATS

On thick, roughly textured paper, a gallery of highly stylized felines created by over a dozen Indian folk artists in as many primitivist styles pose gracefully or are caught in mid-leap, staring steadily up at viewers with authentically catlike directness. The uniformly applied colors also seem to leap out, printed in a silkscreen process that gives them a lambent intensity that is heightened by sinuous, deep black lines defining each creature’s distinctive shape and finely patterned fur. Paper, printing and binding all done by hand, this numbered edition of a 2009 title is a multisensory delight, as pleasing to the hand as it is to the eye. The deep red reflects light, the inky black absorbs it and each line provides a tactile experience, all demonstrating eloquently what is lost in the mass production of an art book. “Thin cats…Fat cats…Saintly cats…Brat cats,” as Ravishankar’s minimalist and sometimes arbitrary captions suggest all cavort across these pages. The slow cats (one red, one green) march in stately fashion; the dazed cats (done in an intricate pattern of tiny lines and spots in red, green, blue and yellow) stare glassily out at readers. A key at the back provides information about the artists and their styles. Packaged with an extra illustration laid in and a die-cut wrapping strip, this lovely artifact will be received eagerly by both cat lovers and connoisseurs of bookmaking. (Picture book. 6-9, adult)

Pub Date: April 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-93-80340-08-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Tara Publishing

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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