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I Spy: An Alphabet in Art Paperback – October 21, 1996
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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The perfect art book for small children is one that opens their eyes and makes them want to keep looking. I Spy, surely the most cultured alphabet book around, is just right. Parents can leave it out on a table and let it work its magic silently. Its cover picture--René Magritte's Son of Man, a painting of a man in a Homburg and overcoat who inexplicably has a green apple where his face ought to be--has just the right touch of whimsy to grab a toddler's attention, but older children (up to about age 80) should love it, too. Inside, there are 26 paintings: large, clear, colorful, and one to a page. Across from each plate is an alphabet letter, shown both capitalized and lowercase, and the words, "I spy with my little eye something beginning with..." The Magritte starts off the alphabet (A is for apple, of course), and then Henri Rousseau's Football Players keeps the ball rolling, so to speak. Lucy Micklethwait includes wonderful selections of pictures children can dream about, including an Indian painting, Workmen Building the Palace of Fatehpur Sikri (E for elephant), Goya's incomparable Don Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuniga (M for magpie), and Miró's Woman and Bird in the Moonlight (S for star). Click to see the spread with Marc Chagall's The Bride and Groom of the Eiffel Tower (V for violin). Compilation and text © 1992 by Lucy Micklethwait. Permission by Greenwillow Books. (Preschool and older) --Peggy Moorman
From Publishers Weekly
From the simplest of premises, Micklethwait has fashioned a remarkably rich investigation into the pleasures of looking at paintings. In search of an object beginning with a specific letter, the reader's eye roams pictorial worlds ranging from a 15th-century manuscript illumination to a David Hockney poolside. Spotting the clues hidden in abundant Dutch still lifes, vibrant genre scenes or a Goya portrait can be tricky, but the hunt is never dull, thanks to the author's unusually creative choices and their faithful reproduction. Often, more than one object in a painting satisfies the letter requirement, a subtle hint that art may prompt many questions and reward an alert viewer with multiple answers. Micklethwait understands this truth and uses it well; the images she has chosen will linger with children. All ages.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Even though I am now a children's librarian bringing this book to you, in another life time I was a high school teacher. One course I taught was a kind of art appreciation. The first activity I did was post a dozen famous prints across the board, then ask students to pick their favorite and write why and least favorite and say why. Examining a painting without knowing a thing about it is the first step in art awareness.
In "I Spy" there are 26 famous paintings. The one on the cover is "Son of Man" by Rene Magritte (a man). The words on the left page inside the book say: "I spy with my little eye something beginning with Aa." On the right side is the painting.
Here is a sampling of other included paintings: Picasso's "Sitting Woman with a Fish Hat" (let their little imagination roam with this one!), Goya's "Don Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuniga," Matisse's "Interior with Etruscan Vase," Renoir's "Umbrellas," and Hockney's "A Bigger Splash."
What a wonderful way to reinforce the alphabet, introduce the child to masterpieces of art, show cultural and time differences in clothing, style, and customs. Perhaps at some point you could locate a book in the library which has those paintings. Take one at a time to discuss meaning, technique, painter.
Ms Micklethwait has several other books to consider:
Colors: A First Art Book
I Spy Two Eyes: Numbers in Art
Child's Book of Art: Discover Great Paintings, A
Animals: A First Art Book
This is an excellent introduction to art and types of art and styles and artists.
Also, in each picture is something that goes with the letter of the alphabet. Ball for b and so on.
A great way to practice beginning sounds and letter recognition.
This is a lovely book with great pictures and there are many educational type things you can do while enjoying time with your child. Well worth the money.
Most recent customer reviews
What caught my eye about this book is the variety of art work on the pages. “I spy with my little eye something beginning with” and then the author gives you the...Read more