Kids and Art Book Reviews

By Nancy Taylor

How to Talk to Children About Art

By Francoise Barbe-Gall

If you are not well-heeled in art history, don’t know a paintbrush from a pastel, love art and want to help your kids love it too, this is just the book for you. Written in simple laymen’s terms, this book has all the questions the artistically-challenged may have but are afraid to ask. Art can be intimidating, and if you are one to wonder without asking, check out this informative guide to the fine arts. Organized in question and answer format, How to Talk to Children About Art is color coded for three age groups. Full color reproductions of famous painters like Botticelli, Degas and Chagall along with historical background provide parents with a wonderful springboard into discussion of the fine arts with their children. Available from Chicago Review Press at book and art stores everywhere.

Once Upon a Picture

By Sally Swain

“Once upon a picture in 1889, Vincent Van Gogh painted ‘The Starry Night’…”

In order to make art accessible to children, we need to foster a love for it that extends beyond simply telling them to look at pretty pictures. Sally Swain duplicates the style of Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night,’ Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s ‘The Umbrellas,’ Paul Klee’s ‘Twittering Machine’ and Henri Rousseau’s ‘Tiger in a Tropical Storm’ to weave a tapestry of art and storytelling sure to delight children and their parents. She transforms the art into stories that kids can relate to that will bring the paintings to life. Her choice of works along with her gift for whimsy will make an impression on kids and is sure to awaken the artist (or art-lover) in all of us. Available in bookstores everywhere and through Independent Publishers Group online  or by calling 1-800-888-4741.

Galileo for Kids: His Life and Ideas, 25 Activities

By Richard Panchyk

Galileo was a brilliant man; ahead of his time, dismissed by many as sacrilegious or crazy or just simply wrong. His ideas of astronomy and mathematics, music and art were well beyond what the people of his era were used to. He was a true genius. With Galileo for Kids parents and teachers can explore the world through Galileo’s eyes and do some of the experiments that he did. From simple experiments that illustrate gravity and water displacement to more complex projects showing projectile motion or charting of curves, the activities will help kids understand some of the more complex scientific principals in simple terms. This historical timeline of Galileo and some of the prominent scientists who lived in the same timeframe is interesting, informative and fun for everyone who finds they have a flair for the scientific. Available in bookstores everywhere and through Independent Publishers Group online  or by calling 1-800-888-4741.

Galileo’s Universe

Poems by J. Patrick Lewis

Illustrations by Tom Curry

Everybody loves a pop-up book. Galileo’s Universe is a unique blend of poetry, art and education in this book about the life of Galileo. Designed for the younger child, Galileo’s Universe introduces children to the world as this great scientist saw it and allows a hand-on look at science from Galileo’s perspective. This interesting and fun version of the story of the life of this great scientist is the perfect way to open the door for more in-depth observation for the child interested in the astronomy and the planets. Available from Creative Editions, Galileo’s Universe can be found in bookstores nationwide.

Primary Art: It’s the Process, not the Product

By MaryAnn F. Kohl

Art exploration is a wonderful way for young children to learn, develop and grow. We all know that the product is far less important than the product. Primary Art is a wonderful book loaded with more simple, fun art projects geared for the primary child than any one family can do in a year. Projects are unique and innovative, and everyone who tackles any of them will be delighted with both their simplicity and creativity. All projects have a simple description, a list of required supplies and instructions on the process involved. Especially messy projects have a warning to parents to be sure to cover the area (and the child) appropriately. Simplicity, time involved and adult assistance requirements are clear on each of the projects. Perfect for rainy-day or any-day fun. Published by Gryphon House, Inc. and available in book, art and teacher supply stores everywhere.


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