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Look! Look! Look! at Sculpture Hardcover – April 1, 2012
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From School Library Journal
Ages 5-8—Three young mice visit a museum displaying Barbara Hepworth’s Four Rectangles with Four Oblique Circles, 1966. With hands clasped behind them, they do a walk around the sculpture, observing it closely. They talk about what it is, what it might be, and how it makes them feel. They draw three-dimensional representations on sketchpads, and with colored clay they make rectangles with texture, arranging them into groupings that can be viewed in different ways. As they are making clay circles, approaching footsteps send them scurrying out of the museum. Photographs of actual artwork displayed on crisp white backgrounds are labeled and identified by type of sculpture, contrasting with the characters done simply in collage. Age-appropriate language allows young readers to share the mice’s adventure into the world of art. Instructions in the end pages encourage children to create paper sculptures of their own. With its great child appeal and wealth of information, this is a solid choice for most collections. — School Library Journal, April 2012
From Kirkus Reviews
Three frisky mice, sensibilities honed by an exposure to painting in Look! Look! Look! (2006), give 3-D art a similarly close onceover. The story is centered on an abstract work in slate by Barbara Hepworth in the Yale Center for British Art (where Friedlaender is a curator), but it features sharp color photos of 20 other sculptures from as many eras and cultures. Wallace’s clean, spacious paper collages offer a representative museum exhibit that showcases the broad variety of materials and styles sculpture encompasses. Her three small but well-equipped visitors take formalized “museum walks” around the Hepworth and utter cogent observations: “I see spaces between the shapes!” “I see spaces in the shapes!” “I see four smooth, shiny, crescent-moon shapes!” They whip out sketch pads and tiles of modeling clay for some playful experimentation with forms, placement and texture before the book closes with a recap gallery and instructions for creating “paper SHAPE sculptures” with cut-out circles and triangles. A pleasingly high-energy invitation to see, understand and appreciate art… and to make some too. (credits, thumbnail bio of Hepworth) (Informational picture book. 6-9) - Kirkus Reviews, February 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
Follow with as the mice hitch a ride to an exhibit, and then learn to look at and explore the curiosities of shape and form. Another plus is the 'do along', suggesting cutting out your own shapes. It plants a seed that creativity is not just mimicking a recognizable object, but learning to see how objects make us feel and think. I encourage any parent or doting relative of a wee one to read this to your cherished child. This would also be great for daycare providers as well...they can follow along with paper shapes.
This book is recommended for children ages 5 to 8, however I think children as young as 3 or 4 can be read "Look! Look! Look! at Sculpture" and shown the pictures because they already will be learning the shapes.
This book has terrific illustrations of the various types of sculpture for comparisons. Wallace and Friedlaender use three mice on a trip to a museum to guide a child on the adventure of learning about sculpture. By looking closely the mice discover ordinary shapes are used in different combinations to create sculpture. By breaking down art into simple shapes; circles, squares, rectangles, and triangles, a child will learn that art is not complicated. The authors demonstrate how taking these shapes and giving them dimension (depth) a form can be produced, which is what sculpture is all about.
The last pages of the book show children how they can be creative as well and produce their own sculptures. The authors show how combining circles, squares, rectangles, and triangles cut from construction paper or made from clay a child can create their own works of art.
I thing this book is a fun way to learn about sculpture and art in general as well as sparking an interest to take a hands on approach to sculpture. Therefore, I give it 5 Stars.
On the whole, however, the inherent limitations of a two-dimensional medium make it impossible to truly explore the wonders of a three-dimensional art form. The author does show some simple techniques ("[drawing] more lines and [adding] shading") for making flat sketches "look 3-D," but the book's goal--as stated on its front flap--is to show "that sculptures can be: big or little, textured or smooth, and made with different materials. Some stand alone, others are in a group, and still others move!"
Of course this is all true, but on the flat pages of a picture book, every sculpture looks and feels essentially the same. They may be depicted in ways that are designed to show differences in size and texture, but really the only differences between the drawings of one sculpture and another are the colors and lines used. None of the drawings are textured: if a child were to touch the pages of the book, they would all feel glossy and cool. None of the drawings are three-dimensional: children couldn't "walk all the way around" them, as the book says you can with a sculpture.
Overall, I wouldn't recommend this one. If I wanted to teach my child about sculpture, I would do so with actual sculptures rather than a book like this that doesn't have any sort of pop-up features.
If you're looking for a resource to teach children in grades K-3 about sculpture, I'd highly recommend this book!