African Art and Culture

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The newly inaugurated "World Art & Culture" series currently explores India, Africa, Japan and Mexico. Geared for middle school libraries, the volumes sport bright reinforced bindings and back matter of further resources, glossaries, and indices. The content has been standardized: one establishing map followed by brief synopses of architecture, textiles, painting, various crafts, music and/or theatre and film, and cross-currents—which briefly attempt to explain influences to other cultures. The African volume was a tough one to tackle. As the author points out upfront, it is a continent of over 1,000 languages with vast climactic differences between the Saharan north and the tropical south—all of which is going to drastically affect its various cultures. A brief essay on pre and post-colonization is followed by a heavy emphasis on arts of sub-Saharan Africa. Here's a case where creating two volumes instead of one would have been useful since the rich Arabic-influenced architecture and arts of the north have been totally ignored. Finally, this volume—and the others—lacks a second, critical map: one which would site the historically and architecturally significant regions being described. Still, the effort is a reasonable beginning for addressing in more depth a subject usually rushed over in most country surveys. 2003, Raintree, Ages 10 to 14.
— Kathleen Karr
Library Journal
Gr 6 Up-Each of these stunningly illustrated books deals with a variety of art forms from different regions of the world. They begin with a brief outline of the area's history, followed by chapters on different art forms. African Art has sections on architecture, body art, metalwork, baskets, and musical instruments, among others. Indian Art has similar topics, but also includes dance, theater, film, and stories. Mexican Art includes fiestas and death and burial traditions, along with the more expected visual arts. The texts not only describe the art forms and how they are created, but also explain the role that art plays in the cultures. Information boxes give further detail on relevant topics. Each book has an extensive glossary and a serviceable list of further resources. Every page includes interesting and vivid color photographs of the different art forms and of artists at work. These titles are well worth purchasing for the illustrations alone. Books in the "Art Around the World" series (Lerner) do not have the variety of topics or the depth of coverage.-Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739866061
  • Publisher: Heinemann Library
  • Publication date: 8/28/2003
  • Series: World Art and Culture Series
  • Pages: 56
  • Age range: 11 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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