How to Talk to Children About Art

Overview

Anticipating how kids react to paintings by artists as diverse as Botticelli, Vermeer, Degas, Chagall, and Pollack, this resource for adults who want children to love and understand art prepares them for the types of questions kids ask. Providing parents and teachers with valuable tips for making any visit to a museum with children a success, this guide offers a great primer or refresher course on art history, allowing adults to confidently answer common questions, such as why some paintings are signed and others...

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Overview

Anticipating how kids react to paintings by artists as diverse as Botticelli, Vermeer, Degas, Chagall, and Pollack, this resource for adults who want children to love and understand art prepares them for the types of questions kids ask. Providing parents and teachers with valuable tips for making any visit to a museum with children a success, this guide offers a great primer or refresher course on art history, allowing adults to confidently answer common questions, such as why some paintings are signed and others are not, some pictures are small and others are very large, and why the Dutch paint so much fruit. Questions and answers about 30 well-known paintings provide historical background, explain genres such as still life and portrait, and demystify religious and mythological themes. Color-coded tabs let adults flip to sections appropriate to the ages of their children (5–7 years, 8–10 years, 11–13+ years).

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Tackles what might be some highbrow stuff for kids age 5 to 10...in a simple, smart way."  —Chicago Tribune

"An excellent resource for art gallery or museum visits." —BC Parent

"A wonderful guide."  —Omaha World-Herald

"A simple, easy-to-use primer."  —NEA Today

"An accessible entrance to usher children into the world of art, specifically preparing them for museum visits and any questions."  —Violet

"A primer on art history and valuable tips to make a visit to a museum with children a success."  —Treasure Valley Family

"Provides many ideas to help make that visit to the art museum a pleasant experience for everyone."  —Chicago Parent

"Takes a great idea and executes it effectively."  —Kliatt

Omaha World-Herald
"Its value is the advice that author offers on how to get young people to be interested [in art]."
Violet
"An accessible entrance to usher children into the world of art, specifically preparing them for museum visits and any questions."
Chicago Tribune
"Tackles what might be some highbrow stuff for kids age 5 to 10...in a simple, smart way."
Children's Literature
Art is as approachable as you want it to be. As a visual medium, it's all right in front of you to observe. There can be a myriad of responses to any one piece of art, perhaps as varied as the viewers themselves. The idea that children must be introduced to art like they are to broccoli, because it is good for them, never works. If a parent loves broccoli there is a much greater chance that broccoli will be served in a way that generates interest. So it is with art. A more contemporary selection of art forms might be a much better introduction to the world of art than the paintings reproduced in this volume. "The Annunciation" by Fra Angelico, "The Arnolfini Portrait" by van Eyck, and "The Birth of Venus" by Botticelli are not kid magnets. This book's preference for somber older works continues throughout, but things get a little bit livelier with Picasso's "Weeping Woman" and "The King of the Zulus" by Basquiat. 2005, Chicago Review Press, Ages Adult.
—Kristin Harris
KLIATT
This book takes a great idea and executes it effectively. The title says what the goal is, and after some introductory notes on basic approaches to take with different age groups (5--7, 8--10, 11--13) and genres (portraits, landscapes, etc.), the core of the book is a chronological examination of 30 works of art through questions (or statements demanding a response) and answers. Each piece of art gets four pages; a print of the work starts on the left, and then an easy-to-follow (bold print questions, plenty of white space between items) Q&A series, different for each work, follows. The method makes learning easy; the questions are wonderfully playful and the answers simple but never simplistic. Barbe-Gall knows her stuff and has a real understanding of children's minds. A few sample questions about a work by Chagall: Why doesn't the man have arms? Why does the furniture look like it's falling over? Just these two examples suggest how quickly and effectively the book pulls readers (and not just 5--13-year-olds!) into the work. Excellent both for students and teachers. KLIATT Codes: J--Recommended for junior high school students. 2005, Chicago Review Press, dist. by Independent Publishers Group, 182p. illus., $16.95.. Ages 12 to 15.
—Daniel Levinson
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556525803
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/1/2005
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 374,238
  • Age range: 5 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Françoise Barbe-Gall is a lecturer in art history at l'Ecole du Louvre in Paris, France.

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