A handsome and satisfying companion to Market Maze (2015).

MASTERPIECE MIX

Looking for a fresh and inviting introduction to academic painting genres such as still life, portrait, or landscape? Why not bring readers inside an artist’s studio (perhaps author/illustrator Munro’s own?) and actually show them the process?

Munro begins with preparations to paint: stretching and gessoing canvas, selecting the right tubes of colors, choosing brushes, palette knives, and solvents, setting up a palette for painting, and so on. It’s lots of work…but the really hard part about painting is deciding just what to paint. In demonstrating her decision-making process, Munro uses 37 iconic and inspiring examples of fine art, each illustrating a genre for consideration, all drawn from the open-access collection of the National Gallery of Art and all representing an energizing variety of European and American artists, eras, media, and styles. She cleverly brings all these images together in a detailed, ambitious, culminating ink-and-acrylic cityscape. This signature image of an art-bedecked, lively metropolis also works as an art scavenger hunt. As readers discover the art embedded in a landscape, they can refer to the smart, concise, marvelously amplifying backmatter.

A handsome and satisfying companion to Market Maze (2015). (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3699-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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For the dedicated nonfiction fan, this picture dictionary introduces media that are better experienced than described.

LITTLE LEONARDO'S FASCINATING WORLD OF THE ARTS

From the Little Leonardo's Fascinating World series

This entry in a series named for Leonardo da Vinci, an “original Renaissance man,” describes the many forms and functions of art in today’s world.

This colorful book shows very young children what art is and what different kinds of artists do. The author begins by listing several kinds of art as they appear in our lives, then describes historical art forms, such as cave painting and pottery design. Next, entire pages and spreads feature particular forms of art, artists, and materials, including sculpture, writing, drama, graphic design, architecture, and music. The role of computers in the creation of art today is mentioned, and readers are encouraged to imagine themselves as artists. The cartoon-style pictures show cheerful, ethnically diverse children in mainstream American settings creating art that often mirrors well-known pieces and styles of the Western tradition. A jazz band is included on the music page. An author’s note at the end of the book introduces six great artists of the past; three of these are women, but five of the six are white. While children throughout the book are representative of America’s diversity, readers will have to look elsewhere for inclusion of diverse contributions to the world of art. Volumes on math and science are similarly formulated but wordier. A page on anthropology in the science volume assumes a cultural perspective that all readers may not share.

For the dedicated nonfiction fan, this picture dictionary introduces media that are better experienced than described. (glossary, author’s note) (Nonfiction. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4236-4873-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Gibbs Smith

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2018

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Lots of detail and complex vocabulary mean most young children won’t linger past check-in at this hotel; older children will...

BUG HOTEL

Bearing the tagline “A lift-the-flap book of discovery,” this board book for older children is meant to inspire garden explorations.

Its inviting house-shaped design with multiple peep-hole windows hints at what children will find inside. The first page explains that “A bug hotel is a multistory homemade habitat where creepy crawlies of all shapes and sizes can find a place to stay!” The benefits of providing accommodations for six different garden critters are then detailed, one per double-page spread. Information about each creature’s ideal environment and how humans can foster that habitat is behind the largest flap on each spread, which also includes a cutout through which the insect can be seen. “Snails come out mainly at night, so a dark and protected habitat helps to keep them cool, happy and safe from predators….” Smaller flaps discuss characteristics of each critter—pollination for bees, metamorphosis for butterflies, etc. The final spread reviews the various materials needed to attract different bugs to the garden. However, there are no instructions included or even websites to consult to assist readers in actually constructing a bug hotel. Birdhouse, published simultaneously using the same format, is somewhat more successful, possibly because birdhouses are more common.

Lots of detail and complex vocabulary mean most young children won’t linger past check-in at this hotel; older children will still need help from a caregiver or teacher . (Board book. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-61067-766-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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