October 17, 2008

Book Review: Animals: A First Art Book

Well, so much for routine. A midweek round of food poisoning threw me off. So, here I am, getting slowly back on track. Yippee. :p To top it off, my computer ran out of battery while I was feeding the baby, and I did not save my first draft. Drat. I apologize. The first one was really good, we'll see how this turns out. Here it goes.

I am always looking for fun ways to expose my children to culture. I love cultural experiences such as plays, opera and art museums, but the problem is, I have the attention span of a toddler. This works out great for my toddlers, not so great for my husband. Luckily for me, he is very patient. Attention issues aside, there are a lot of great ways to sneak some culture in, or just have fun with it.

We found this book hiding in the juvenile art section of the library last week. Lucy Micklethwait's Animals: A First Art Book has a variety of art from Renoir to Warhol and the artists use a variety of materials, from scrolls to eucalyptus bark to paint on. The words are very simple concepts such as stripes and feathers-different ways of grouping animals. It is not anything astounding, but it is a simple and easy way to look at some artwork of different styles and from different eras.

Another idea is to go check out art books from the library-the kind full of just artwork, not so many words, and look through them together. (Pre-read to see if there is nudity or other things you would rather not explain or expose your kids to- just because its classical or cultural does not make it good.) Play "I Spy", take turns finding things on a page, or you be the boss-you find it first and tell your helper what to find, like reading "Where's Waldo". (Can you find a dancing bear? Can you find something red? Something brown?-yes, a great opportunity to practice colors!) Another cute book is You Can't Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum, by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman. This one has less artwork, but a cute story. Have fun!

1 comment:

amy best said...

Great ideas, thanks!