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Children's LiteratureThe concept behind this book is a strong one—a combination activity and coloring book based on paintings in the collection of the National Gallery in London. Essentially, each page reproduces, in black line, a portion of a famous (or not-so-famous, in some cases) painting and offers suggestions for how the readers can finish the picture themselves. Not only do the budding artists have a chance to express their own creativity, but along the way they pick up some art appreciation tips. The activities are anything but simple. Even adults might find some of the authors' suggestions, such as drawing the musical instruments in a seventeenth-century genre painting, challenging. The biggest drawback to this book is the reference material included—tiny reproductions of the paintings that inspired the activities are printed on the back cover. Perhaps this reviewer's aging eyes make this problem seem more acute than it would for youngsters, but having to pull out a magnifying glass to figure out what's going on in the picture seems awkward in the extreme. Larger, clearer reproductions, even at the expense of a few activities, would make this a much more attractive and accessible volume. 2005 (orig. 1993), Frances Lincoln, Ages 12 up.