A Child's Book of Play in Art


Wonderful artworks are the starting point for a truly unique and inspiring book. Lucy Micklethwait's gentle probing brings each work alive for young children, making early word learning fun and creative.
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Wonderful artworks are the starting point for a truly unique and inspiring book. Lucy Micklethwait's gentle probing brings each work alive for young children, making early word learning fun and creative.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
PreS Up-Aptly subtitled, this book will convince the most reluctant art appreciator to "play in art." Forty-one works ranging from an Aboriginal bark painting to a slick Lichtenstein homage to Van Gogh's Arles bedroom are skillfully arranged in two-page "exhibits," with brief suggestions on how to approach them. "Let's Play" shows a Bruegel village scene in which peasant children play such games as "rolling hoops" and "riding a hobbyhorse," followed by a colorful Japanese woodblock print in which youngsters from a different time and place enjoy similar pastimes. In both pictures, readers are asked to find small highlighted details. But this title goes beyond the Waldoesque object-hunting of the earlier books. All five senses are brought into play. Readers are urged to imitate the sounds, interpret the costumes, adapt the patterns, and act out the stories of rich and exciting images from European, Japanese, Persian, and Native American art. Micklethwait teaches basic art concepts and pre-reading skills such as prediction and discrimination, but more importantly, the joy of interactive reading. The book's coffee-table size may pose shelving problems but is justified by the high-quality reproductions and the necessary white space separating the pictures and spare text. A final section lists pictures by title, description, artist, date, country, medium, size, and location of the original. The introductory notes are reassuring and inspiring, and the table of contents is illustrated with tantalizing details from the pages to follow.-Karen MacDonald, East Falmouth Branch Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
As is true of her previous books, Micklethwait (I Spy a Freight Train, p. 902, etc.) begins with the premise that art is accessible to everyone. By asking simple questions and playing easy matching games, readers learn to identify basic emotions and messages that are communicated through the universal language of images. Viewers are asked to find the hoop players in both Brueghel's "Children's Games" and a Japanese print of the same name, or to compare van Gogh's "Bedroom at Arles" with Lichtenstein's later rendition of the same room. Emotions, faces, smells, and animal noises are some of the ways Micklethwait invites children into these works of art. The color reproductions are excellent; a large format and roomy design allow readers to explore the paintings in detail. Included are well-known works and less familiar ones, with an emphasis on Western art. The most significant segment may be when readers are asked to make up their own stories of what's going on in several paintings. The stories behind the paintings are included, but the message is that what readers see in a painting has validity, that art need not be an elite subject.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789410030
  • Publisher: DK Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 48
  • Product dimensions: 14.10 (w) x 10.54 (h) x 0.46 (d)

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