How Artists See Play: Sports Games Toys Imagination

Overview

How Artists See is a breakthrough series of interactive, inquiry-based books designed to teach children about the world by looking at art and about art by looking at the world. Each volume presents sixteen diverse works of art, all devoted to a subject that every child already knows from personal experience. Author Colleen Carroll's engaging, conversational text is filled with thought-provoking questions and imaginative activities that spark children's natural curiosity both about the subject of the artwork they ...

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Overview

How Artists See is a breakthrough series of interactive, inquiry-based books designed to teach children about the world by looking at art and about art by looking at the world. Each volume presents sixteen diverse works of art, all devoted to a subject that every child already knows from personal experience. Author Colleen Carroll's engaging, conversational text is filled with thought-provoking questions and imaginative activities that spark children's natural curiosity both about the subject of the artwork they are looking at and about the way it was created.
This direct, interactive approach to art — and to the world — promotes self-exploration, self-discovery, and self-expression. The books introduce basic artistic concepts, styles, and techniques, and are loads of fun. For children who want to know more about the artists whose works appear in the book, biographies are provided at the end, along with suggestions for further reading and an international list of museums where each artist's works can be seen.
As children begin to understand the multitude of ways that artists see, they will deepen their appreciation of art and artists, of the world around them, and of their own unique vision.

Examines how sports, games, toys, and other aspects of play have been depicted in works of art from different time periods and places.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
An especially pleasing facet of this book is the use of a wide variety of artists from different backgrounds and the presentation of a diverse range of games. An ancient Queen of Egypt is pictured playing a board game by herself. A large group of Native Americans in buckskin clothing are depicted in another painting playing winter games, some as familiar as tobogganing. Mary Cassatt's painting, "Children Playing on the Beach" and Alexander Calder's miniature toy circus made of wire and found objects are both full of fun. Yet each every artist has quite a different view of play and that is the whole point of this book. It doesn't matter what media the artist uses, each has a story to tell and by looking carefully at the clues in the art, the viewer can experience or at least try to decipher the story that the artist is relating. Carroll's text is concise, friendly, and gently informative. There are four sections in this book: Sports, Games, Toys, and Imagination, each one featuring four artists. At the back of the book is a Note to Parents and Teachers, a few pages of Artist Biographies, a section entitled Suggestions for Further Reading broken down by age level/reading ability, and a list of museums and art galleries where the reader can find the artists' work. This thoroughly researched and thoughtful book is part of the fascinating series, "How Artists See" which includes Animals, Weather, People, The Elements, Families, Work, and Cities.
Kirkus Reviews
Unlike much art history—distinguished and scholarly—this examination of playful artworks is anything but solemn. Carroll chooses works that include elements of human play: toys, sports, and imagination. She then asks questions about the works that encourage viewers to locate the answers by looking, thinking, and doing. For The Discus Thrower, for example, she suggests imitating the athlete's pose, to see which muscles are used. Brief biographies of the artists and facts about the art are thoughtfully included at the end of the book. The numerous reproductions are large and clear, with a range of artists represented (Chagall, Rockwell, Calder, Lawrence, Manet, etc.) as well as a range of styles (Japanese, Egyptian, Native American, and more). A Child's Book of Play in Art (1996) is bigger and bolder, but it is aimed at a slightly younger audience; it looks at art playfully, rather than looking at art about playing. Used together, the books demonstrate the connection between the imagination and art. (Nonfiction. 8-11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789203939
  • Publisher: Abbeville Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Series: How Artists See Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 8 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Note to Parents and Teachers

As an elementary school teacher I had the opportunity to show my students many examples of great art. I was always amazed by their enthusiastic responses to the colors, shapes, subjects, and fascinating stories of the artists' lives. It wasn't uncommon for us to spend an entire class period looking at and talking about just one work of art. By asking challenging questions, I prompted the children to examine and think very carefully about the art, and then quite naturally they would begin to ask all sorts of interesting questions of their own. These experiences inspired me to write this book and the other volumes in the How Artists See series.

How Artists See is designed to teach children about the world by looking at art, and about art by looking at the world through the eyes of great artists. The books encourage children to look critically, answer—and ask—thought-provoking questions, and form an appreciation and understanding of an artist's vision. Each book is devoted to a single subject so that children can see how different artists have approached and treated the same theme, and begin to understand the importance of individual style.

Because I believe that children learn most successfully in an atmosphere of exploration and discovery, I've included questions that encourage them to formulate ideas and responses for themselves. And because people's reactions to art are based on their own personal aesthetic, most of the questions are open-ended and have more than one answer. If you're reading aloud to your children or students, give them ample time to look at each work and form their own opinions; it certainly is not necessary to read thewhole book in one sitting. Like a good book or movie, art can be enjoyed over and over again, each time with the possibility of revealing something that wasn't seen before.

You may notice that dates and other historical information are not included in the main text. I purposely omitted this information in order to focus on the art and those aspects of the world it illustrates. For children who want to learn more about the artists whose works appear in the book, short biographies are provided at the end, along with suggestions for further reading and a list of museums where you can see additional works by each artist.

After reading How Artists See Play, children can do a wide variety of related activities to extend and reinforce all that they've learned. In addition to the simple activities I've suggested throughout the main text, they can design and create a toy or board game, put on a play, or organize a neighborhood field day that includes their favorite sports. Since the examples shown here are just a tiny fraction of the great works of art that feature play as their subject, children can go on a scavenger hunt through museums and the many art books in your local library to find other images of play.

I hope that you and your children or students will enjoy reading and rereading this book and, by looking at many styles of art, discover how artists share with us their unique ways of seeing and depicting our world.

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Table of Contents

Sports

Games

Toys

Imagination

Note to Parents and Teachers

Artists' Biographies

Suggestions for Further Reading

Where to See the Artists' Work

Credits

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