I Spy: An Alphabet in Art

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Overview

"I spy with my little eye something beginning with A..." Even the very youngest art lovers can spy out the apple in Magritte's Son of Man through the zigzags in de Geest's Portrait of a Child. Interact with twenty-six of the world's greatest paintings in this educational, entertaining, and beautiful pairing of a classic game with timeless art.

Presents objects for the letters of the alphabet through paintings by such artists as ...

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Overview

"I spy with my little eye something beginning with A..." Even the very youngest art lovers can spy out the apple in Magritte's Son of Man through the zigzags in de Geest's Portrait of a Child. Interact with twenty-six of the world's greatest paintings in this educational, entertaining, and beautiful pairing of a classic game with timeless art.

Presents objects for the letters of the alphabet through paintings by such artists as Magritte, Picasso, Botticelli, and Vermeer.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
From the simplest of premises, Micklethwait has fashioned a remarkably rich investigation into the pleasures of looking at paintings. In search of an object beginning with a specific letter, the reader's eye roams pictorial worlds ranging from a 15th-century manuscript illumination to a David Hockney poolside. Spotting the clues hidden in abundant Dutch still lifes, vibrant genre scenes or a Goya portrait can be tricky, but the hunt is never dull, thanks to the author's unusually creative choices and their faithful reproduction. Often, more than one object in a painting satisfies the letter requirement, a subtle hint that art may prompt many questions and reward an alert viewer with multiple answers. Micklethwait understands this truth and uses it well; the images she has chosen will linger with children. All ages. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
You can begin introducing great works of art earlier than you think. "I spy with my little eye something beginning with Aa" reads the text of the first page and the opposite page shows Rene Magritte's Son of Man. Succeeding pages wend their way through the alphabet with works by Hogarth, Picasso, Seurat and others. The many levels of this book make it an excellent family read.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-6-- A is for apple, B is for ball, but in this alphabet game the apple is found in Magritte's Son of Man , and the ball in Rousseau's Football Players . Some of the word choices are obvious, but it will take a sharp eye to spy the G for guinea pig in van Kessel's Still Life with Fruit and Flowers on a Table , the P for peacock in Crivelli's The Annunciation with St. Emidius , or the Y for yacht in Seurat's Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Micklethwait has chosen splendid examples of museum art, which are beautifully reproduced on glossy pages in this oversized picture book. Here are some of the Western world's greatest paintings (along with one from Asia), to be puzzled over, explored, and enjoyed. Adults sharing this book with children will appreciate the richness of the pictures, the interweaving of art styles and periods, and the knowledge that the book gives youngsters the opportunity to become familiar, in the most pleasant of ways, with a gallery of great paintings. --Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Carolyn Phelan
"I spy / with my little eye / something beginning with Aa" begins this alphabet/art/puzzle book. Magritte's painting "Son of Man" on the facing page features a bowler-hatted businessman with an apple suspended in front of his face. Most of the objects Micklethwait challenges kids to find in the full-page reproductions of paintings are less obvious. Some are small enough to make those pages of the book ineffective for reading aloud in the classroom, and that's a pity, given what the book has to offer. The author's stated intention of introducing young children to fine art, her choice of paintings, the handsome book design, and the quality of paper and reproduction take this beyond the usual alphabet book. Still, while "y" may be one of the more challenging letters for writers of alphabet books, the choice of "yacht" both here and in "A Russian ABC" (Mayers, below) tells you something about the intended audience--most kids would call it a boat. A key at the back identifies objects, artists, and paintings.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688116798
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1992
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.87 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Lucy Micklethwait says, "I began to play 'I Spy' with paintings with my own children when they were very young. Over and over again my children pointed out things which I had never noticed beforeā€”an apple that had fallen to the floor, a funny-shaped shoe, an expression on a face. Although we were simply 'looking at pictures,' I was well aware that, by making these paintings accessible, I was enabling my children to build up a store of images in their own minds which must inevitably lead to some interest in fine art." Ms. Micklethwait's books for children include I Spy Shapes in Art; I Spy: An Alphabet in Art; I Spy Two Eyes: Numbers in Art.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    4.5 stars What caught my eye about this book is the variety o

    4.5 stars
    What caught my eye about this book is the variety of art work on the pages. “I spy with my little eye something beginning with” and then the author gives you the alphabet letter for that specific page and immediately on the opposite page you have a work of art to find something that corresponds with that letter. Some pages the author has you looking for items that “end” with a specific letter of the alphabet instead of “beginning” with a letter but that is the only difference in the pages. What you will love is the pictures in this book, if you enjoy art or want something different in an I-spy book . There are pictures from Picasso, Vermeer, Goya, Matisse, Renoir, and Seurat just to name a few. Twenty-six letters of the alphabet and twenty-six different painting by twenty-six different artists. The last two pages of the book are devoted to what you should have found on the pages (not where to find them on the pages) just what the item is, who the author is, the name of the painting, the date it was created and where the original painting is housed. It’s a fun book with not a lot of words but adds a dimension of well-known art to the popular concept of I-spy.

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