This handsomely produced British import coaches parents and teachers on how best to introduce their children to fine art and also serves as a lively learning prompt for future connoisseurs—art-loving kids with a voracious desire to explore and experience and enjoy as much art as they can.
After a thoughtful, brief rationale and a tip-filled introduction to “Looking at Art,” fine-art blogger Nottebohm tours readers through major art collections in the United States and in Europe and stops in front of 50 significant works of Western painting. In each two-page spread she offers an immersive, insight-rich, and accessible curator’s talk with just the right amount of kidcentric detail and disarmingly honest Q-and-As to keep young art lovers deeply engaged. Inspired by countless trips to museums with her own son and his friends, Nottebohm reassures parents that no work of art is too effete for curious kids and that the internet is a fine resource for virtual gallery visits (you can look as long as you like and zoom in on detail). She encourages families to prepare for their art-viewing trips together and let their children manage the map and guide the museum tour. Selections are heavy on canonical works, with no obvious representation from artists of color or, in fact, any nonfigurative art at all.
Though a glossary would have helped—not everyone knows what “gesso” is—and the scope is limited, most will enjoy return visits with these old masters. (index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)