Four accordion-fold board books create a miniature art gallery of 20th- and 21st-century works, each book focusing on a different hue.
“Yellow” shares the geometric designs of Josef Albers and a photo of a sculpture by Urs Fischer of a golden croissant with a red butterfly resting on the tip, among others. “Blue” presents Henri Matisse’s paper-cut birds and Sarah Morris’ minimalist painting dubbed Novotel (Nice). “Green” showcases Cy Twombly’s abstraction of peony blossoms as well as Julian Opie’s cartoon of a crawling baby. “Red” features one of Andy Warhol’s iconic soup-can paintings and a photo of Jeff Koons’ bright red Balloon Dog sculpture. Many of the images will draw young viewers in immediately, like Keith Haring’s boldly outlined dog, but others are too small or too low-contrast to have their desired impact, particularly a faint painting of a candle by Zhang Xiaogang. The only text comprises captions that label each reproduction and a hard-to-read list of all the artworks on the back panel of each book. The entire set comes in a large, sturdy box, which is handy for home use but poses problems for library circulation.
While larger pages would have served these masterworks better, this set is sure to become a tummy-time favorite for baby art lovers. (Board book. 0-1)