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Once Upon a Picture
     

Once Upon a Picture

by Sally Swain
 

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With magnificent illustrations, this unique account introduces children to art through four famous paintings: Paul Klee's "Twittering Machine," Pierre-Auguste Renoir's "The Umbrellas," Henri Rousseau's "Tiger in the Tropical Storm (Surprised!)," and Vincent van Gogh's "The Starry Night." Young minds explore these well-known pieces through creative

Overview

With magnificent illustrations, this unique account introduces children to art through four famous paintings: Paul Klee's "Twittering Machine," Pierre-Auguste Renoir's "The Umbrellas," Henri Rousseau's "Tiger in the Tropical Storm (Surprised!)," and Vincent van Gogh's "The Starry Night." Young minds explore these well-known pieces through creative storytelling and eye-catching images. From the sounds of Klee's machines and Renoir's children at play to the movement of van Gogh's stars and Rousseau's prowling jungle tigers, the illustrations and story suggestions unfold with visual, verbal, and dramatic effect. This ideal art literacy tool invites children to take up their own adventures and concludes with four additional paintings by the same artists to spark developing imaginations.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A feast for eyes and a creative teaching tool."  —School Library Journal

"Every page is awash in color and invites storytelling."  —Omaha World-Herald

"An easy way to get [children] involved in learning that art can be fun and exciting."  —Chicago Parent

"The characters are so charming and the mood of the works so revealing that readers will experience the strong emotion of each artwork."   —School Arts Magazine

Omaha World-Herald
"Every page is awash in color and invites storytelling."
Children's Literature
This is an excellent introduction or transition to classic paintings and interpretation. Swain presents four renowned artists from the late 19th and early 20th century—Renoir, Klee, van Gogh and Rousseau along with samples of their work. Not content to define and explain the artists' techniques or ideas, one aspect from each that is commonly overlooked is presented with a possible resolution. The outcomes are creatively illustrated in the tradition of each artist, making the observer feel as if Swain is continuing the image. An exercise in imagination or creative thinking awaits many readers. This is a splendid text to be used in art class as well as for a creative writing assignment. The minimal text and broad, colorful spreads easily lend this work to imaginative responses, either oral, written or even illustrated by its readers. Following the four main "ingredients" are four other works by the same artists as fresh fuel for interpretation and continuation. Readers will look at art with different eyes once they realize there is more than what is on the canvas. No need to stop with the book. 2004, Allen & Unwin, Ages 9 to 12.
—Elizabeth Young
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-This playful book visually extends the stories behind fine-art paintings. The phrase "upon a picture we might wonder..." precedes an expansion of ideas about the subjects in each painting. Illustrations on the following several pages then reveal a fantasy sequence done in a style that imitates the original art. For example, a tumbling figure of a little girl from Pierre-Auguste Renoir's The Umbrellas rolls her hoop to play in the mud. From Paul Klee's The Twittering Machine, a tree, alive with twitters and tweets, is cut down by an errant gardener until he realizes the error of his ways and rescues a sprig. Swain's version of the story behind Van Gogh's The Starry Night provides a dramatic view of a boy and his cat gazing first at the stars, then surrounded by the blazing warmth of a golden moon. The angled swirls with striking gold, orange, and blue perfectly complement the original painting. Henri Rousseau's Tiger in a Tropical Storm (Surprised!) has a big cat transformed by the rain from a striped creature to one bedecked with flowers under a cloudless blue expanse. Four additional pictures by the same artists appear at the end and challenge readers to create their own extensions. A feast for the eyes and a creative teaching tool, this slim volume is a welcome addition for any library.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781741751062
Publisher:
Allen & Unwin Pty., Limited
Publication date:
04/01/2007
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Sally Swain is the author of Great Housewives of Art, Great Housewives of Art Revisited, and Oh My Goddess.

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