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Action Figures: Paintings of Fun, Daring, and Adventure (Bob Raczka's Art Adventures) Library Binding – September, 2009

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Action Figures: Paintings of Fun, Daring, and Adventure (Bob Raczka's Art Adventures) + Speaking of Art: Colorful Quotes by Famous Painters (Bob Raczka's Art Adventures)
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1–6—Eighteen paintings, and not a bowl of fruit in sight. Whether it is the knockout punch of George Bellows's Dempsey and Firpo or the fiery blasts of Diego Rivera's The Conquest of Mexico, this art is not about sitting still. Raczka threads selections together using few words: "Dragon Slayers/Baseball Players/Big Top Swingers/Stone Slingers." Similar in format to his Art Is… (Millbrook, 2003), the book includes works in various styles, dating from 1450 to 1962. Rounded out with some fun facts about the selections, this enjoyable collection presents an array of action-packed art fit for independent perusal or group discussion.—Lisa Glasscock, Columbine Public Library, Littleton, CO END

From Booklist

Raczka continues his series (Bob Raczka’s Art Adventures) of thematic approaches to fine art with 18 depictions of lively activity, created by painters from Paolo Uccello to Roy Lichtenstein. Opening with Uccello’s dramatic St. George and the Dragon followed by Morris Kantor’s Baseball at Night, he provides identifying captions for each, and also links them with a rhyming word or phrase (Dragon Slayers and Baseball Players) in larger type. The brightly reproduced paintings range in size from full page to three-quarters spread, and a closing section of analytical comments about each invite young viewers to page back for closer looks. The larger pictures cross the gutters with no visible losses. Though Frans Hals’ puckish Jester with a Lute (Lute Strummers) doesn’t quite fit the theme, it does set up the wild jumble of Max Beckmann’s ensuing Rugby Players (Rugby Scrummers), and it isn’t the only smile-worthy juxtaposition here. The minimal text helps to keep the focus squarely on the art, which is as it should be. Grades 3-5. --John Peters

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 and up
  • Grade Level: 2 and up
  • Series: Bob Raczka's Art Adventures
  • Library Binding: 31 pages
  • Publisher: Millbrook Pr (September 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761341404
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761341406
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,324,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

My wife Amy and I are the co-creators of three masterpieces: Robert, Carl and Emma. We live in Glen Ellyn, Illinois with our 10 year-old mutt, Rufus, who is also a piece of work.

I was born in Chicago, the oldest of four boys, and grew up in the suburb of Des Plaines. As a kid I loved to draw. I was also into making balsa wood airplanes and model rockets. My favorite sport has always been baseball.

Bob Raczka's Art Adventures is my ongoing nonfiction series published by The Millbrook Press. There are currently 14 books in the series. The latest, called Before They Were Famous: How Seven Artists Got Their Start, is a Junior Library Guild selection.

I've also written a series of four books about the seasons, published by Albert Whitman: Spring Things, Summer Wonders, Who Loves the Fall? and Snowy Blowy Winter.

My current love is writing children's poetry. My poetry titles include:
* Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
* Lemonade and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word (Roaring Brook)
* Fall Mixed Up (Carolrhoda)
* Joy in Mudville (Carolrhoda)
* Santa Clauses: Short Poems from the North Pole (Carolrhoda)
* Presidential Misadventures: Poems that Poke Fun at the Man in Charge (Roaring Brook)

For more information, please visit my website at bobraczka.com

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Library Binding
If you like art, but can't relate to a lot of it you probably wouldn't be willing to even crack the cover of a book that says the word "art" in the title, but anything by Bob Raczka may prove to be the exception. If anyone has the knack for choosing art that young people can relate to he's the man. If you have a youngster who is more in tune with the graphic novel, action and adventure, the paintings in this book will probably draw in the more reluctant reader. From dragonslayers, prizefighters, ringmasters to tiger tamers you'll find some of the most interesting action oriented paintings packed inside these pages.

Paolo Llccello's "Saint George and the Dragon" just might have your fantasy lover poring over this painting of St. George slaying this beast with his jousting lance. Your sports fan might enjoy taking a look at a player pileup in Max Beckmann's "Rugby Players." Graphic novel afficionados will be wowed by Roy Lictenstien's jet plane ejectors in "Blam." Speaking of graphic, John Singleton Copley's "Shark Bite Survivors" will get more of its share of browsers than several other paintings in this book. Art does not have to be dull and Raczka has proved this fact time and time again.

I love the presentation of art this book has to offer. Each page or two page spread as the case may be, has an historical painting with an adventurous theme that will appeal to young people. Each painting is listed with the title, artist, date and where it can be located. The reproductions, each with a solid, vivid background color, are very vibrant (no graininess or faulty printing here). In the back of the book each painting is reproduced in thumbnail size and there are some "Fun Facts" about each one. This book can be a perfect stepping stone to an art report or simply a fun book to read. Any of Bob Raczka's books are always welcome additions to any homeschool, classroom or library shelves!
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By Artist Julia on June 20, 2010
Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
This is fun book for kids. I think it is especially great for boys as it has action packed pictures. It makes art fun!
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Action Figures: Paintings of Fun, Daring, and Adventure (Bob Raczka's Art Adventures)
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