HOW TO BE AN ART REBEL, by Ben Street and Jay Daniel Wright, Thames & Hudson, May 18, 2021, Hardcover, $17.95 (ages 6-8)
Introduce children to the world of art through the eyes of someone who thinks outside the box in How to Be an Art Rebel, by Ben Street and Jay Daniel Wright.
Under the playful guidance of Leo, an art rebel cat with a cause, this book takes young readers on an alternative tour of an art museum to discover eight different types of art: portraits, surrealism, ancient sculpture, abstract art, naked people in art, still-life paintings, and contemporary art.
Instead of telling children what they ought to know, Leo equips his readers with enough knowledge to respond to art on their own terms. Knowing how symbols work, they’ll decipher clues in Frida Kahlo’s self-portrait. Understanding surrealism, they’ll decide for themselves what Joan Miró’s doodles are all about. And with some insight into the stories behind classical sculptures, they’ll discover that antiquity wasn’t as gray and boring as it might seem. Along the way, they’ll learn about a diverse range of artists from around the world and art movements throughout history. —Synopsis provided by Thames & Hudson
Many people think of art — particularly art displayed in museums — as unapproachable. They know they’re supposed to like it, but it’s serious and confusing and boring, and why bother? How to Be an Art Rebel demystifies art, bringing it back down to the fun most of us remember from creating our own art in school.
While How to Be an Art Rebel does feature some familiar pieces, its real strength comes in focusing on the unfamiliar. It helps kids understand that art is truly in the eye of the beholder. This is a fun romp told through conversational prose that makes this anything but boring.
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