Saturday, May 17, 2014

A CHILD’S INTRODUCTION TO ART by Heather Alexander and illustrated by Meredith Hamilton


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I was thrilled to be a stop along a blog tour for A CHILD’S INTRODUCTION TO ART by Heather Alexander and illustrated by Meredith Hamilton. Not only did I get to read a fantastic new book, but also got to ask the author some questions.
If you leave a comment, you will be entered to win a copy of A CHILD’S INTRODUCTION TO ART. It is definitely a book you'll want to own. 
Many thanks to Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc. for this opportunity and to Heather Alexander for taking the time to answer a few questions. This book is one in a series of "Introduction" books for kids.

REVIEW:
There is so much to say about A CHILD’S INTRODUCTION TO ART: THE WORLD’S GREATEST PAINTINGS AND SCULPTURES.

The book starts off by describing where art began, and then gives an overview of art around the world. The featured artists start in the 1380s with the Limbourg Brothers and end in 1987 with Andy Warhol. We see Renaissance, Impressionism, Expressionism, Abstract art and so much more. Do you know what Pointillism is? There's an Art Timeline on the last page, too.

A CHILD’S INTRODUCTION TO ART goes in chronological order covering both periods of time and genres. Artists from different countries are highlighted including France, Japan, United States, and the Netherlands.

Each painter or sculptor has a two page spread with something personal about them, as well as information about their art – how they painted or sculpted. Depending on what is described for each artist, whether it’s about color, brush stroke, or a specific genre, fun projects for kids (and adults!) are listed with each artist. Plus there are notes placed around the artwork as examples.

True to its title, this is a great book to introduce anyone to many artists and art styles. If you are intrigued by a particular artist, style or period, you can then research it more yourself. Now I know why Toulouse-Lautrec was short. And why Munch painted The Scream. I was engaged in the descriptions of all the artists and their work and learned about so many different things. The section on color alone is captivating.

The entire book is entertaining, interesting, fascinating and informative. Between the artists’ sections are spreads on color, perspective, museums and other places you can view art.

Also listed is which museum the art is being exhibited. If you live in or near those cities or taking a trip, it would be a highlight to stop and see the actual artwork on display.

It looks like a coffee table book, but the fact that it’s so engaging will bring you back for multiple readings, or to look up a specific artist or genre when desired. A great resource as well as a great read.

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INTERVIEW WITH HEATHER ALEXANDER:

Q: How long did the research take?

A: This book was done fast but intensely. I basically took an entire summer to research and outline. Many beautiful days were spent deep inside one library or another. Even in our technological age, I still use libraries for a lot of my research.


Q: Do you have a favorite artist that had to be included or did you find one while writing the book?


A: I always find that "favorite" question to be a tricky one. Just like with authors and movies, I have a different favorite depending on the day and my mood. However, I've always loved Klimt's golden mosaics in "The Kiss" and Renoir’s beautiful slices of life. While working on the book, I discovered the power of Jacob Lawrence and my 14-year-old daughter became a fan of Goya. It's kind of cool to have your teenage daughter beg for her own book on Goya!


Q: Will there be a modern art book? Would it be harder to choose the artists?


A: I don't know if there will be a modern art book--I hope so! In some ways, it may be easier to choose those artists. In this book I was forced to select only a few artists from centuries and centuries of talents. If I'd had my way, this book would have been three times as long!


Q: Was there a favorite craft/project from the book that kids had the most fun with?


A: The paint-under-the table-like Michelangelo project is one of my favorites. Who doesn't love a little upside-down art?  Some of the older kids in my neighborhood did amazing colorful Tissue Paper Faces in the style of Klee.





18 comments:

  1. From the perspective of an art teacher, this book is practically perfect: short bio's, fun facts and great illustrations. A perfect resource for anyone teaching art to kids. Thanks for the interview, Angela. I linked your interview and review on my blog as I know many would love to have a copy of this book.

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  2. Thanks Patty! I like how you showed the inside of the book. I wanted to link up to your site too! http://www.deepspacesparkle.com. I think teachers and librarians would enjoy it too.

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  3. I need this book! I am artistically challenged, but an slowly developing this side of myself as I learn art with my kids.

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  4. This book sounds amazing! I'd love to win a copy! Thanks for pointing me to this terrific resource.

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  5. I just adore art history and having a resource that breaks it down for children would be such an asset in my art room! Thanks for introducing me to this awesome book!

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  6. I am just starting out teaching art to children. This would be a great asset for my class if I won a copy. For each of my projects I lug around a few books on just a few artists but tgid would be great to have just one and to see more than just a couple of artists at a time.

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  7. Love the idea of this and am excited to have one to plan our next year focus on the Masters!

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  8. This looks like a fabulous book to teach children about different artists and styles!

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  9. I would love to win this book! A great resource book for a teacher.

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  10. I think this book would be the perfect gift for a college graduate ready to enter his or her classroom of budding artists. I would love to win a copy of the book to give to that teacher!

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  11. I was thinking of doing an "Around the World" theme with my prek-6th graders next year. Sounds like this book would be a wonderful asset to our new art program!

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  13. It will be a blessing to the children who do not have access to art and art resources easily :)

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  14. Paint-under-the-table Michelangelo is the idea that grabbed me since I teach Italian kids artwork and always need ideas for Italian artists. Great book!

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  15. This looks like a great teaching resource, with accessible information and a visually appealing format. Hope it opens the eyes of many students, young and old for visual beauty!

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  16. This looks absolutely lovely! I'd love to win a copy to add to our library. My class picks art books first usually!

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  17. I'm so happy to announce the winner of this exciting book giveaway!

    And, because it's such a fabulous book and I want it to get out in the world I decided to give away my copy too. So I have two names to announce!

    I had my trusty husband pick papers out of a bowl and the two winners are:

    Pam Kilback and Jake & Crystal!!!!! Congratulations!

    If you can email me at adrussell (at) verizon (dot) net I can get your addresses and the books will be in the mail.

    I truly wish I had copies for everybody. Thank you for submitting your comments. I hope to have other books to giveaway in the future.

    Angela

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  18. I haven't heard from Jake & Crystal and don't know how to contact her. If I haven't received an email from her to claim the book by Wed at 5pm, I'll choose a new winner and announce that person. Next time I will have a time frame for it all. Thanks!

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