Thursday, June 27, 2019

Fish Everywhere Britta Techentrup

Fish Everywhere
Britta Techentrup
Big Picture Press, an imprint of Candlewick Press. 2019
Preschool to Grade 2

I love the artwork of German artist, Britta Techentrup. Her books, with their colorful illustrations created digitally, are really intriguing.

Fish Everywhere is an informational picture book that will take readers underwater where fish live. After a general introduction explaining what is a fish and just how long they have lived on earth (100 million years), we are taken on quite the adventure to explore the different fish habitats. The book ends on how important fish are to people, both for food and as a pet, and the environmental impact fishing and our pollution is having on their survival.

No back matter.

This book is a nice introduction to fish for the curious.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Degas: Painter of Ballerinas

Degas: Painter of Ballerinas 
by Susan Goldman Rubin
illustrations provided by the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2019
Grades 2-12

Susan Goldman Rubin has written biographies of many artists including Diego Rivera, Andy Warhol, Maya Lin, Georgia O'Keefe and the Wyeth family. Her latest biography children captures the life and essence of Edgar Degas in just sixty-pages.

Rubin uses quotes from Degas and his paintings, sketches and sculptures to present a complete portrait of the artist. While other impressionist artists turned their attention to nature and landscapes, Degas spent his time at the Paris Opera where he painted and sketched young ballerinas (also known as petits rats). Degas lost his eyesight in his later years and gave up sketching and painting for sculpting.

Degas: Painter of Ballerinas is the perfect book to introduce children to the artist. It also provides insight in the artist and techniques for readers who may be familiar with his work. The artwork, which is placed thoughtfully throughout the book, is a strength and will help children understand more about Degas' style and medium. The book is a recommended purchase for libraries and art classes.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Birds of a Feather: Bowerbirds and Me Susan L. Roth

Birds of a Feather: Bowerbirds and Me
Susan L. Roth
Neal Porter Books. Holiday House. 2019
Preschool thru adult

Artist extraordinaire, Susan L. Roth (Parrots Over Puerto Rico), so cleverly shows us how an artist and a bird, the bowerbird, found in Australia and New Guinea have something in common.

Just how are Roth and the bowerbird similar?
They both love to collect all sorts of materials they find in their surroundings to create collages.

Told with a simple and engaging narrative, it’s Roth’s signature collage illustrations that moves the story forward.

Back matter includes facts about bowerbirds, how both Roth and bowerbirds are similar in their creation of collages and how they differ, and bibliography.

A stunning informational picture book that rises to the top. I love how, once again, we see just how important art is to our lives.

Monday, June 17, 2019

The True Story of Alan Bean: The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon Written by Dean Robbins

The True Story of Alan Bean: The Astronaut Who Painted the Moon
Written by Dean Robbins; Illustrated by Sean Rubin
Orchard Books. An Imprint of Scholastic. 2019
Grades 5 and up

Dean Robbins tells the life of Alan Bean (1932-2018), a pilot, astronaut, and an artist.  As a child, Bean loved to think about the way things looked. He made model airplanes that he hung around in his bedroom.
“Green for the wings.
Red Stripes for the tail.
Yellow stars along the sides.”

This picture book biography shares how Bean’s love of flying had him training to be a navy pilot and then joining NASA in 1963. Bean traveled to the moon with the Apollo 12 mission in 1969 and became the fourth person to walk on the moon. When did he take his first art classe? While he was training to be a pilot in 1961. Beans says how he loved being able to show on paper what he saw with his eyes.

Back matter includes an author’s note with more information on Alan Bean, a timeline of space exploration, and a bibliography. There is a page in the back matter that places photographs taken during his Apollo 12 mission with the paintings Alan did based on the photo.  Captioned under each of the paintings Bean shares his experience of that amazing trip.

It’s a treat to see a book for children that acknowledges how influential art can be, even for someone who loves science.