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Children's Literature"Read-it! Chapter Books" went to Australia for the "Wonder Wit" series of adventures with brother and sister, Luke and Sophie, who—in this title—set off with their Aunt Stella, an artist, to look for art treasures. A dart thrown at a map selects their destination, which turns out to be a bay full of rockpools, surrounded by sky and ocean. Aunt Stella urges them to look in new ways, to experiment with materials and techniques, and to create their own "artrageous" works. When they are finished, she includes a creation by each child in her latest exhibit. Bursting with color and nervous energy, the illustrations—cutout drawings and bits of photographs—occupy as much space as the text. Aunt Stella (full of directions and exhortations) sets a frantic pace right to the end, where we find an "Artrageous Hall of Fame" and an art quiz with more suggestions for budding artists. Luke and Sophie are enthusiastic about their experiments with color, line, texture, and shape; the author obviously intends that readers will be inspired to follow their example. One can only hope they have access to an equally wide range of art materials and an adventurous relative or teacher to lead the way. This quirky Australian import will be fun for middle readers who want to create their own art and may be useful for art teachers as well. 2006 (orig. 2004), Picture Window, Ages 8 to 12.
—Barbara L. Talcroft