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Seen Art? Hardcover – May 5, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3 Up–The collection at the recently re-opened Museum of Modern Art in New York City forms the framework for this cheeky foray into contemporary art appreciation. While trying to find his friend in Manhattan, a boy asks a passerby, "Have you seen Art?" and sets off a chain of events that propels him through the museum on an unexpected journey of artistic discovery. Once inside, every variation of his "where is Art?" request compels helpful museum-goers to respond in a more esoteric fashion as each visitor briefly introduces the works of his or her favorite contemporary artist to the narrator. After a thorough, eye-opening tour, the boy finds himself back where he started. But now when he is asked, "Did you find art?" he resoundingly replies, "YES!" And, on the final page, he does; Art is waiting for him outside the museum doors. The unusually long and narrow shape of the book and the stylized characters echo the modern-art theme while the muted background tones are an effective foil for the well-reproduced if sometimes diminutive artwork. The hip, first-person narrative is deliberately repetitive but becomes somewhat tiresome as the book's length appears to be determined more by providing a broad overview of the museum's holdings than by a compelling plot. Pair this with Anthony Browne's The Shape Game (Farrar, 2003) before a museum visit or as part of an art appreciation unit. For anyone planning a trip to MoMA with a youngster, this is a provocative read.–Carol Ann Wilson, formerly at Westfield Memorial Library, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 5-8. In November 2004, New York City's Museum of Modern Art reopened in an expanded building. This offering celebrates the new digs and reviews some of the museum's greatest hits. A squiggly haired chap on the streets of New York searches for his friend, named Art. Instead, he is directed to the museum, where he continues to ask for his pal, and museumgoers enthusiastically show him favorite works from the collection. Finally, upon leaving the galleries, the guy finds his friend waiting. The "who's on first" joke makes a flimsy story at best. Also frustrating are the too-small reproductions of the famous artworks that are incorporated into the collage illustrations. What does come through in the irreverent text and the illustrations is the message that art is made in many media and that it can touch each person differently and profoundly. Not a necessary purchase, but this whimsical title might make a good preface to a day at the museum for elementary- and middle-school students. Planned notes about the included artworks weren't available in galley. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers (May 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670059862
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670059867
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 0.4 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #416,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
What is art? people have been trying to figure this out for centuries. this book introduces the eternal question to children in a fun, silly way, as well as different genres of art and the hilarious pompousness of art critics. the innocent hero just wants to find his friend Art, but everyone keeps showing him new room in the museum. children will appriciate the collage of sparse illustrations and famous art works, as well as the implied commentary about the innocence of children and the silliness of grown-ups.
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Format: Hardcover
I have been a fan of Mr. Sciescka [sic] and Mr. Smith since I discovered their "The True Story of The Three Little Pigs by A. Wolf" about ten (or more) years ago. Their "Stinky Cheese Man" and "Math Curse" and "Science Curse" are wonderful. I find their "Frog Prince" and this book to be a lesser effort.

The book intends to introduce the young audience to the world of modern art. At the end of the book the boy has not found art, and we the readership have not been shown the value of many of these pieces of art either. My personal inclination is that I find many of these pictures and pieces uninformed, unenlightened, and uninteresting, so the value of them is completely lost on me.

As is this book. A cute idea that does not execute well.
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By Sarah G on October 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Such a great book! Scieszka and Smith are a wonderful author/illustrator team and this joint effort is amazing. It starts out with a child asking if someone has seen his friend, Art. He is then directed to the Museum of Modern Art where he goes on a whirlwind tour and gets to see many different pieces of art. This book introduces children to art, and to the MoMA in a creative way. I also really liked the information about all of the pieces of art in the back.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I absolutely love this author. I also love how he takes already often established text and tells a story from another point of view. This books is on Art of some very famous artist. Rich language and lots to learn from this book. Great addition to any children's library and to any art study program.
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Format: Hardcover
I had never heard of this title when I picked it up on a whim from our library. It really blew me away--what a wonderful way to expose young children to art! The content sets a silly story with silly characters among a backdrop of famous works of art from many different genres. I think it is a book that will come to mean more to your children as they age and can start to appreciate the "background" art. I thought it was very clever.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An absolutely wonderfully creative introduction to art. The kind of children's book that is as entertaining for the adult reading, as for the child listening. I thought it would be too advanced for my four year old grandchild, but he grabbed it and begged me to read, and we were both enchanted. Can't recommend it enough.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved going through this book. The photos of the various artworks are great, especially for children, but what I really got a kick out of was the creative storyline. I think this book is wonderful for any age - bought it to read to my 4 month old, but I think I enjoy it as much or more than her!
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Format: Hardcover
This is a great book for all ages.... I will use it in my elementary art class and High school class. A college professor recomended "Math Curse" and I looked it up and found one on art! He said "as a teacher, you have to be obsessed with your subject." So I was and purchased this book and it is GREAT!
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