Do you hear me squeeing and running around the room? It's because the How Artists See Jr. series exists! I am THRILLED to share these treasures. Well, I'm restraining myself and only featuring Dogs with you today. (Watch readertotz for further reviews of this collection!)
Imagine the greatest works of art, gathered according to topic, titled and dated, and then bound as board books for the youngest eyes. That is the How Artists See Jr. series. Colleen Carroll, who has created educational materials for USA Today, the Smithsonian Institution, and MTV, is now bringing the finest art to the youngest reader.
In Dogs, the examples range from Roman, 1st Century, Dog on a Leash to Jeff Koons' Puppy, 1992. Spread after spread introduces amazing art and transports the viewer through time and back again. How rich for the eyes to absorb a Gauguin and then a 1st Century, Chinese sculpture. It's a feast, especially at a page turn which moves from two images to a full spread. One can actually get lost in the Tomb of Sennedjem with the Anubis. My absolute heart-breaking favorite is Dog, 1951, by Alberto Giacometti.
"So, are these readertotz appropriate?" I hear you asking. YES! First of all, these are the images your babies will grow to love by this early exposure. Then, as they mature, the book can be used for further exploration. In the front matter, Colleen has wonderful questions you might ask your toddlers while reading together:
*What is the puppy doing?
*Does she look happy or sad? How can you tell?
*If this were your dog, what would you name him?
I'd add that the child could make a drawing inspired by his own favorite in the board book.
Talk about raising the bar in infant/toddler books, Dogs is appropriate for your coffee table! Watch how many adults pick it up and then share it with their own babies. Here's a special thanks to Colleen and Abbeville Press Publishers for enriching the arena of board books.
Listen to Colleen discuss the series in her own words through this podcast.
I, myself, have taught art lessons for nine years to children ages six through sixteen. I will be using these sturdy board books with my classes! As well as sharing them with the totz I know.
How Artists See Jr. Dogs, 2008
Abbeville Press Publishers
Lorie Ann Grover ~author/illustrator