Well-known artworks are used to point out how artists have created certain effects. In Faces, young and old are compared in paintings by Lucas Cranach. The lack of facial lines, a smooth nose without shadowing, and fair golden hair are hallmarks of the young boy while the opposite are used to represent the father. Another fascinating image is the triple portrait of Cardinal Richelieu. It clearly shows how different we look depending on the angle from which we are viewed. The last section of the book provides information about skin color. The author urges kids to try their hand at painting by referring back to the book's earlier examples. The final section offers more information about the paintings used to illustrate the author's points. There is a glossary, list of web sites and an index. Part of a series of six books entitled "How to Look at Art." 2000 (orig. 1997), Gareth Stevens, Ages 8 up, $19.93. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-In simple, succinct phrases, Richardson describes famous paintings by renowned artists. Each two-page spread takes a look at a different work of art; the left-hand pages present a full-color reproduction while on the right a number of details in close-up views are accompanied by questions or comments. For example, when viewing Domenico Ghirlandaio's Portrait of a Girl in Faces, readers are asked to notice the color of the subject's skin, the lines under her eyes, and the light on her hair, and to offer an opinion on whether or not she is smiling. Studies in perspective are featured in Distances. The sky seems to touch the ground in Edgar Degas's Beach Scene, while foreground figures loom dramatically large in Paolo Uccello's The Rout of San Romano. In Shadows, the effectiveness of light, darkness, and their contrast is explored in Geertgen tot Sint Jans's The Nativity, at Night, Jan Vermeer's The Lacemaker, and in many other masterpieces. Observant youngsters will see where the different sources of light originate and how strong light makes colors brighter and shadows deeper. Each title has a few activities. While the questions and suggestions posed by the author will help children become more discerning when examining paintings, they do get somewhat repetitious. However, like a number of other recently published art series, these titles will introduce young students to terms, techniques, and a broad range of styles.-Patricia Mahoney Brown, Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, Kenmore, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.