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Children's LiteratureThe alphabet is the frame on which Blake, Britain's Children's Laureate, builds an introduction to art appreciation through pictures that tell a story. The paintings, by artists whose names begin with the letters A to Z, were chosen by Blake for an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in London. They include examples of both "fine art" and illustrations, each with its own "flavor," but all having a story basis. Each is introduced by a group of kids drawn by Blake and followed by their usually humorous comments, reactions, and questions. The chosen works range from Daumier's "Don Quixote and Sancho Panza" to Innocenti's illustration for Pinocchio; from an x-ray of a still life painting to a scene from Zwerger's Dwarf Nose. The animated cartoony drawings of the appealing children, with their honest words as the only text, come before and after each picture, with the picture itself standing alone on the page spread so that viewers can let their "imagination meet the imagination of the artist." This is an opportunity to discover artists previously unknown, while noting the parallels between the art in museums and that in picture books. A final note encourages viewers in their looking. Further details on each art work, its creator and location follow. 2003 (orig. 2001), Millbrook Press, Ages 8 up.
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz