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The Art Book for Children


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Each spread is dedicated to one of the best-known works of one of thirty artists, which are accompanied by a highly readable, short text that directs the child (and his or her adult reader) to look closely at the artwork, and invites a personal response. Also explained in this text are the people, story or ideas behind the works.

About the Author

Amanda Renshaw, formerly a specialist in Impressionist and Modern Art at Christies, is currently Editorial Director at Phaidon Press.


Gr 4-7- This follow-up to The Art Book for Children (Phaidon, 2005) is similar in size, format, and tone to that volume. Each spread contains sharp, full-color reproductions accompanied by four or five paragraphs discussing the different aspects of art suggested by the particular work. The book includes well-known classics, modern concept art, painting, and sculpture. Renshaw alternates modern and traditional art, but otherwise there is no real organization to the book. The tone is casual yet energetic and the text is both interesting and thought-provoking. It is not condescending, but is easily accessible to even a fairly young audience. Renshaw answers some questions about the artwork, and poses questions on every spread for readers to consider. In a discussion of Winslow Homer's Snap the Whip, she states, "We know the boy is moving-but how does the artist make him look as if he's moving when, of course, the picture is totally still?" Reading the book is something like walking through an art gallery with a really good docent. This is a great choice for schools and libraries.-Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

'A perfect introduction to art for parents and children to enjoy together - Simple, clear and fun.' The Guardian, October 2005 'a delightful book that will encourage readers, young and old, to see beyond the obvious.' The Good Book Guide, November 2005 'Is it possible that a nine-year-old child will nag their parents to read them a book about the adventures of Gilbert & George, Cindy Sherman and Leonardo da Vinci rather than the latest Jacqueline Wilson or Harry Potter? If is written with the style, humour and spirit of this mind expanding art book for kids, then the answer is definitely yes. ... it's really good fun and perfect for junior school kids into art - and any parent scared off by the usual pretentious approach to art appreciation. ... very inspiring. Your kids will be making Jackson Pollock-style creations out of mashed potato and ketchup on the kitchen ceiling before you know it.' The Guardian, 17 December 2005 'should become a childhood treasure. ... Hopefully, the delight gained from peering into such large and beautiful reproductions, as well as the enlightenment gained from a text that respects the reader's own response, will encourage children to carry a love of art with them into adulthood.' RA (Royal Academy of Arts, London) magazine, Winter 2005 'the ideal book to introduce children to the great painters, as well as more contemporary artists.' Junior, November 2005 'As a catalyst for discussions about everything and anything, many parents will find this a wonderful book to share with their child from a far younger age [than 7+]. ... this book asks children to consider colour, form, texture and pattern alongside far deeper questions, such as can you paint noise or feelings? With beautiful reproductions and stimulating prompts, it's a book you'll return to again and again.' Junior, December 2005 'Phaidon's The Art Book For Children (GBP12.95) is also a real gem. Next to an illustration of Gilbert and George's famous living sculpture, it asks, "would you be able to keep a striaght face?" whilst demanding to know of Chrito's Pont Neuf Wrapped, "who allowed Christo and Jeanne-Claude to wrap this famous Parisian bridge in fabric? Did they sneak up one night while no one was looking?" If only, one can't help thinking, all art books were so much fun' The Independent, 2 December

The Art Book for Children: Book Two by Amanda Renshaw challenges kids to ask questions about a wide range of famous art, from the ancient to the contemporary. For Raphael's The School of Athens, Renshaw queries, "Where is the teacher? What is everyone chattering about?" and later explains how "a ripe Camembert cheese" helped inspire the melting clocks in Dali's The Persistence of Memory. (Phaidon, $19.95 80p ages 8-up ISBN 9780-7148-4706-1; Dec.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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