Art Is... Paperback – Aug 1 2003
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 5-Raczka introduces more than two dozen famous artworks from various time periods and mediums through quality photographs. His selections are as diverse as a Greek vase, a Bridget Riley Op Art painting, an African mask, a Romare Bearden collage, a Louis Comfort Tiffany lamp, and a Pablo Picasso sculpture, allowing children to compare and contrast these famous pieces and broaden their definition of art. While the text and concepts are appropriate for young children and new readers, the quality of the works depicted makes the book suitable for older readers as well. The eclectic collection is woven together with simple rhyming couplets: "Art is a wall" (Lascaux cave paintings), "Art is a frame holding nothing at all" (Eva Hesse's Hang Up), "Art is an island surrounded by pink" (Christo Javacheff and Jeanne-Claude de Guillebon's Surrounded Islands), "Art is how artists get you to think" (Auguste Rodin's The Thinker). Similar in format to Raczka's No One Saw: Ordinary Things through the Eyes of an Artist (Millbrook, 2002), this volume also contains endnotes giving brief facts about each work and/or the artist who created it. An interesting look at the forms art can take.
Laurie Edwards, West Shore School District, Camp Hill, PA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
My son is 4 and actually resisted looking at the book at first because of the very "grown up" looking cover, but once he saw the first page with the op-art piece "Fall," he was hooked. This is a wonderful picture book, best read aloud by an enthusiastic parent or caregiver. I love that it shows a wide range of art forms. It can help expand a child's horizons and encourage exploration and creativity. In addition to being a good discussion starter, the book can be the basis for games like looking for art in the places you visit and in the books you read. Best of all, it's a lot of fun to read.
I use the book like this: I have my classes sit on the carpet and I read through it. I stop and ask questions along the way. With Jasper Johns' work, Zero Through Nine, I ask students to raise their hand if they see a hidden number and talk about how art relates to all the other subjects - even math! With Pablo Picasso's work, Bull's Head, I explain that art can be made out of ANYTHING - even an old bicycle and that you don't have to have fancy paints at home to make art. etc. etc. etc. With my 3-5 grade students I have them create a list of "art is" statements and put them up on the wall to reinforce reading/writing concepts. All around, I think this is a great book for classroom use. It has big, bright pictures and simple sentences (one of each per page). Each work is also labeled with a full caption including artist's name, title, date, and location. There are 3 pages of notes in the back that add an extra tid-bit of info for each work.
A simple read with big pictures - I love it!