Action Figures: Paintings of Fun, Daring, and Adventure

Overview

Here's your ticket to see some of the most colorful characters of the art world in action. Bob Raczka presents ringmasters, cannon blasters, dragon slayers, baseball players, and more - all captured on canvas by some of the world's most well-known artists. In these eighteen action-packed paintings, Raczka covers a wide range of times, places, and artistic styles. From Saint George and the Dragon (1470) by Paolo Uccello to Watson and the Shark (1782) by John Singleton Copley to BLAM (1962) by Roy Lichtenstein, ...

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Overview

Here's your ticket to see some of the most colorful characters of the art world in action. Bob Raczka presents ringmasters, cannon blasters, dragon slayers, baseball players, and more - all captured on canvas by some of the world's most well-known artists. In these eighteen action-packed paintings, Raczka covers a wide range of times, places, and artistic styles. From Saint George and the Dragon (1470) by Paolo Uccello to Watson and the Shark (1782) by John Singleton Copley to BLAM (1962) by Roy Lichtenstein, this is art that will get your heart racing!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Tiffany Torbeck
Raczka seeks to introduce picture book readers to fine art, yet again, in his latest book. Rhyming text accompanies artwork ranging from the 1500's to today and each couplet accurately describes that action in the picture. There are circus scenes, horseback riders, airplanes, and shark bites. While this book does a good job of making art exciting, readers may be let down after seeing such a bright cover. The cover image is a painting by Roy Lichtenstein; a very vibrant, pop-art piece. The title page also features a superhero image of the author complete with word bubbles. Some readers may be disappointed by the more traditional images on the following pages. Each painting is very well cited, and a longer description may be found at the back of the book, along with "a seek and find" challenge for the last painting, "Children's Games." If encouraged, younger readers will find plenty of action in this volume of paintings. Reviewer: Tiffany Torbeck
School Library Journal
Gr 1–6—Eighteen paintings, and not a bowl of fruit in sight. Whether it is the knockout punch of George Bellows's Dempsey and Firpo or the fiery blasts of Diego Rivera's The Conquest of Mexico, this art is not about sitting still. Raczka threads selections together using few words: "Dragon Slayers/Baseball Players/Big Top Swingers/Stone Slingers." Similar in format to his Art Is… (Millbrook, 2003), the book includes works in various styles, dating from 1450 to 1962. Rounded out with some fun facts about the selections, this enjoyable collection presents an array of action-packed art fit for independent perusal or group discussion.—Lisa Glasscock, Columbine Public Library, Littleton, CO
Kirkus Reviews
Raczka, an artist and a reliable purveyor of workmanlike and generally lively introductions to major works of art for kids (More Than Meets the Eye, 2003), here trains his educated eye on 18 movement-rich paintings that each exhibit child appeal. The "action figures" here are not drawn from comic books or manga but rather from paintings. Quick descriptive phrases gloss works by such lights as George Bellows ("Prizefighters"), Diego Rivera ("Cannon Blasters"), Fernand Leger ("High-Rise Erectors"), Frederic Remington ("Cattle Drivers"), John Singleton Copley ("Shark Bite Survivors"), Paolo Ucello ("Dragon SlayersPaolo Ucello ("Dragon Slayers"), Pieter Bruegel ("Fun and Gamers") and more. Unfortunately, the striking cover art (Blam, Roy Lichtenstein's arresting, appealing comic-book image of a fighter jet), promises far livelier and much more action-adventure-packed images than these sturdily bound 32 pages can actually deliver. Useful but somewhat skimpy backmatter encourages kids to seek more information from each painting and can spark discussion. Unfortunately what might have begun as a terrific classroom or museum-education presentation is less than compelling in print. (Nonfiction. 9-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761341727
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/28/2010
  • Series: Bob Raczka's Art Adventures Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 972,062
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Since majoring in art at the University of Illinois, Bob Raczka has been a writer at various Chicago area advertising agencies. His other books for the series include No One Saw: Ordinary Things Through the Eyes of an Artist; Art Is...; More Than Meets the Eye: Seeing Art with All Five Senses; Unlikely Pairs: Fun with Famous Works of Art; Here's Looking at Me: How Artists See Themselves; 3-D ABC: A Sculptural Alphabet; Artful Reading; and The Vermeer Interviews: Conversations with Seven Works of Art.

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