REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: A Child’s Introduction to Art by Heather Alexander
A Child’s Introduction to Art: The World’s Greatest Paintings and Sculptures
by Heather Alexander
The newest volume in Black Dog’s best-selling, award-winning Child’s Introduction series explores the fascinating world of art and artists and includes do-it-yourself art projects throughout.
In the tradition of Black Dog’s best-selling Child’s Introduction books, which include The Story of the Orchestra and A Child’s Introduction to the Night Sky, A Child’s Introduction to Art introduces kids ages 9 through 12 to the art world’s most famous painters, styles, and periods, all brought to life through full-color photographs of 40 masterpieces, as well as charming original illustrations.
The book highlights 40 painters and sculptors, including Leonardo da Vinci, Claude Monet, Diego Velasquez, Vincent van Gogh, Salvador Dali, Mary Cassatt, and Andy Warhol, providing information on their life, inspirations, influences, technique, and a full-color photo of one of their signature works of art. It also includes an overview of various styles and periods (Renaissance, Impressionism, Cubism, etc.), instruction on how to view and appreciate art, and information on the color wheel and other tools artists employ.
Fun art projects throughout, such as Can You Find It?, Q-tip pointillism, making a stained-glass window with tissue paper, and Spatter Paint like Pollock, allow kids to learn about painting techniques and explore their own artistic abilities. Also includes five masterpiece paintings to color.
Meredith Hamilton’s witty illustrations add another dimension to the excellent text and photographs.
MY THOUGHTS: 5 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
I absolutely loved sharing this book with my son! Even though at 5, he is quite a bit younger than the intended audience, he could still appreciate looking at the pictures of world famous works of art and asking questions about them.
The best thing about the book is that it lays out the subject matter, which can sometimes be rather complicated, in a way that children can easily understand. Each section gives a brief history and explanation of the artist and his or her work, as well as the particular style each artist used. To help the young reader get a better grasp on technique, the stories are interspersed with easy, fun projects kids can do to feel like artists themselves.
A Child’s Introduction to Art begins with a brief history of art, even dating back to cave paintings. After that, artists are profiled in a chronological fashion. The book features such masters as Manet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Warhol, and dozens more. The illustrations are pleasant but do not detract from the works of art that are shown in the book.
As my child grows, I can see us returning to this book more as he becomes more interested in certain artists. I was even fascinated myself at some of the things I learned! I would recommend this book to any family that wants to introduce artistic culture into their home.
About the Author & Illustrator
Heather Alexander has written several books for children and young adults including the previous book in this series, A Child’s Introduction to the World and A Child’s Introduction to Greek Mythology. She previously served as vice president and editorial director at Parachute Press, where she edited four young-adult series (including the Goosebumps and Mary-Kate & Ashley series), three-middle grade series, and several nonfiction titles. She lives in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.
Meredith Hamilton graduated from Brown University and has an MFA from The School of Visual Arts. Formerly an art director at Newsweek and Time, she illustrated the previous six books in the Child?s Intro series among other books, and her work can be found in magazines and animations as well. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and three children.
One commenter will win a finished copy of A Child’s Introduction to Art!
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