Sunday 12 June 2016

Art Parts : A Child's Introduction to the Elements of Art

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Author: Kim Bogren Owen  
Illustrations by: T.J. Matteo, Maddie Oatman, Abigail Whiteing, Stephanie Hausladen Hamilton, Darin Grassman, Timothy Wigington, Kaila Spencer, Kay Kron and Zachari Owen

Words Reflected 2016

Reviewed copy kindly sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

'Art Parts' introduces children to the elements of art - lines, shapes, colour, texture, space and feelings. The book is  a mix of drawings by children, samples to demonstrate art elements and blank pages which invite children to express their own artistic ideas.

Art Parts: A Child's Introduction to the Elements of Artis a picture book with a difference. With various examples from the children involved in the making of this book, it introduces the reader to the elements of art.

I love the book's simple text:

'Art is lines. 
Zigzag lines, curvy lines, narrow lines, wide lines.' 
'Art is shapes. Circular shapes, rectangular shapes, triangular shapes, odd shapes'  
Each double page spread (like the one above), includes a piece of art by a child illustrator as well as some simple explanations about the 'art parts' we may see within pictures. 

The unique thing about this book is that, the reader is then invited to use a blank double-page to express their own art ideas. Love it!

I shared this book with my 6 year old nephew and 8 year old niece. As you can see, both were really happy to tuck right in and add their own masterpieces. 
Using the blank pages to draw their own shapes.
The six year old particularly enjoyed the book. In general, he has a tendency to rush through his own art-work, choosing to use just one or two colours & giving little time to the art process. The child drawings in Art Parts seemed to appeal to him though.There are drawings from children aged between two and six years and there was something about their simple squiggles and mark-making which he connected with. The 'art elements' are presented in an abstract way and he enjoyed looking at these within the illustrations and then coming up with his own unique art-work.
tongue out in concentration!
We spent lots of time exploring with and talking about shape, colour, spaces and feelings within art. I like how the book encourages open-ended discussion while inviting the child to personalize it's pages. 

The book is of a nice quality- a sturdy hardback with thick, gloss finished pages. We used markers, pencils and crayons and, prompted by the book, we then discussed the how these various textures sat on the pages. 

At the back, are some suggested activities which build on the ideas within the book.The author explains how you can extend your child's vocabulary, encourage children to express feelings through art and look for elements of art at home or in nature.

Deceptively simple, Art Parts offers children opportunities to consider the concepts of art while expressing their own ideas. It's a fun book and ideal as a keep-sake or gift. While one child (or two!) can actively participate in the personalising of the book, it's also a valuable share within a group setting.The book can stimulate thinking and discussion within a learning environment and will no doubt inspire little artists to explore and create!

Happy Reading,
Missus B
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