The twenty paintings selected for this book are rich in details that could easily be missed by the casual observer. Each piece of art, beautifully reproduced in full color, is accompanied by a side panel with suggestions for discovery of items within the picture. Most of the suggested objects are not immediately obvious. In "Krishna and Balarama Fight the Enemy," an Indian battle scene, the list of items includes two drums, two elephants, seventeen horses, two golden crowns, nine shields, three men with bows, one green boot, and four spears. Finding all of these details demands deep concentration, and a magnifying glass would help too. The paintings, selected from museums in the United States and Europe, include such artists as Jan van Kessel, L. S. Lowry, Antoine Caron, and Charles Le Brun. The "answers" are provided with colored dots on small black and white copies of the paintings in the back of the book. Brief information is also provided about the artist or the circumstances of the creation of the piece if the artist is unknown. Readers of all ages will be intrigued with the scenes presented and with the challenge of finding aspects of the paintings that could easily be missed. 2004, The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Harry N Abrams, Ages 8 up.
Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
In a follow-up to Can You Find It? (2002), which featured paintings from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Cressy assembles a group of complex and richly detailed works of art for this up-scale Where's Waldo? This time, she goes to three other American museums as well as seven European collections. For Dionysius the Areopagite Converting the Pagan Philosophers, she asks, "In this painting of astronomers can you find 1 bull's head, 2 people writing, 2 yellow feet, 2 winged women, 4 people pointing to the sky, 1 bridge, 2 flaming hats, 3 obelisks?" Some of the challenging tasks set forth here may stump even the most detail-oriented six-year-old; luckily, there's an answer key in the back that includes a bit more about the picture and artist. The pictures themselves do not lack interest: there are battle scenes, castles, horses, coronations and tall ships. Some scenes, such as one from Hieronymus Bosch and others of that ilk, are not for the faint of heart. Still, this is an arresting collection of artwork for parent and child to pore over and explore. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-10)