Amazon Best Books of the Month, October 2010
: With eye-popping illustrations, three-time Caldecott medalist David Wiesner takes readers on a stunning journey through the art world. Art & Max
is the story of two artists: Art, a collared lizard who is studiously painting a portrait when we first meet him, and Max, who has just picked up paints and brushes and is ready to go. What follows is a magical journey of explosive color--brilliantly highlighted by the desert background--where acrylic paints, watercolor, and line drawings, are deconstructed and re-invented, and Art undergoes a Jackson Pollack-like transformation. Combining minimal text with remarkable images, this is a book to be cherished and poured over, inspiring the artist in all of us.--Seira Wilson
Amazon Exclusive From Author David Wiesner: The Development of Art & Max
(Click on images to enlarge)
|Introduction to the photos below: |
These images show the development of the opening spread for my latest picture book, Art & Max. Given that a picture book is so brief, the opening pages must set the scene and introduce the characters in a concise and effective way. On the half title and title pages of Art & Max, I show Max racing across the landscape, from left to right. Now, on pages 4 and 5, he enters the scene as the story begins.
From School Library Journal
K-Gr 4–Underlying this tale of a feisty friendship between two lizards is a thought-provoking exploration of the creative process. Readers first encounter Arthur rendering a formal portrait of a stately reptile, one of several reacting to the unfolding drama in the desert. Frenetic Max dashes into the scene; he also wants to paint, but lacks ideas. Self-assured Art suggests, "Well…you could paint me." Max's literal response yields a more colorful Art, but the master's outrage causes his acrylic armor to shatter. His texture falls in fragments, leaving an undercoating of dusty pastels vulnerable to passing breezes. Each of Max's attempts to solve Art's problems leads to unexpected outcomes, until his mentor is reduced to an inked outline, one that ultimately unravels. Wiesner deftly uses panels and full spreads to take Max from his "aha" moment through the humorous and uncertain moments of reconstructing Art. Differentiated fonts clarify who's speaking the snippets of dialogue. Wielding a vacuum cleaner that soaks up the ruined scales, Max sprays a colorful stream, à la Jackson Pollock, that lands, surprisingly, in a Pointillist manner on the amazed lizard. The conclusion reveals that his fresh look inspires the senior artist with new vision, too. Funny, clever, full of revelations to those who look carefully–this title represents picture-book making at its best. Wiesner's inventive story will generate conversations about media, style, and, of course, "What Is Art?" It will resonate with children who live in a world in which actions are deemed mistakes or marvels, depending on who's judging.Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
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