Can a Coal Scuttle Fly?

Can a Coal Scuttle Fly?

by Camay Calloway Murphy, Tom Miller
     
 
The true tale of a boy with a talent for seeing life and stories in objects and people and places. He feels good about his world and finds art all around--even in something as unlikely as an old coal scuttle.

Overview

The true tale of a boy with a talent for seeing life and stories in objects and people and places. He feels good about his world and finds art all around--even in something as unlikely as an old coal scuttle.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
Baltimore native Tom Miller is a nationally known artist. Here, Miller illustrates his life story and emphasizes the message of the possibilities of life. Miller loved color from the time he was very young, and his Baltimore neighborhood was full of sights and sounds and laughter. His first project was painting a coal scuttle and making it look like a bird. Later, he went to art school and then taught art, always telling his students that 'anything is possible when you are true to your colors and true to yourself.' Miller is certainly true to his colors: his artwork is bold and imaginative and executed in a style he calls Afro Deco. Kids will respond to both the freewheeling shapes and the positive message. As much an art book as a biography.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Miller, who paints in a bold cubist style he calls "Afro Deco," uses his exuberant paintings to illustrate the story of his coming of age as an artist in Baltimore. Surrounded by affection in a visually stimulating environment, the young Miller cavorts through a joyful world of primary-colored objects and multi-hued relatives and neighbors. Conflicts are hinted at in the artist's fleeting unease at entering an all-white art school, but Miller's path leads fairly smoothly to success in realizing a unique artistic vision while maintaining close ties to his cultural roots. Unfortunately Murphy's narrative, while easily understood, lacks the freewheeling inventiveness of Miller's vivacious, slyly patterned paintings. Still, the spirit of the artistand the idea that "hope, love, hard work and lots of color" can accomplish miraclescomes through. Ages 4-8. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
An exuberant and frolicsome look at the life and development of an African-American artist.

Through a first-person narration created by Murphy, Miller explains, just as if he were sitting in the room with readers, how color was central to him from earliest childhood. At age ten, he took a discarded and useless old household fixture and painted it with "eyes and claws and feathers," turning the coal scuttle of the title into a bird. The coal scuttle is obviously a key image in his life: He describes his first days at the Maryland Institute of Art as feeling "a little bit like the coal scuttle . . . dark and dented and in the wrong time and place." The art, in Miller's "Afro Deco" style, consists of bright, flat planes of saturated color in lively geometric shapes, with a whiff of Matisse in the jigsaw patterns. Fun to look at, fun to play with, a fine addition to the growing list of books for children that describe art as a viable and important career choice.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780938420552
Publisher:
The Maryland Historical Society
Publication date:
06/28/1996
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 11.00(h) x (d)
Age Range:
18 - 8 Years

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