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Michelangelo for Kids: His Life and Ideas, with 21 Activities (For Kids series) Paperback – July 1, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Architect, sculptor, painter, engineer, teacher/mentor, poet, genius—Michelangelo Buonarroti was all these and more. This intelligently written, comprehensive, and fascinating account of the Renaissance icon's life, art, personal and professional relationships, and prickly personality and the ways in which he navigated the religious and political upheavals of his time are handled smoothly and with sophisticated language. The volume is as much a history of mid-16th-century Italy as it is about the artist; indeed, this book demonstrates that it would be difficult to understand Michelangelo and his output without background knowledge of the era in which he lived and worked and the influences that shaped his ideas. Many examples of the artist's works and contemporary graphics grace the book in four-color, and excerpts from his poetry will help familiarize readers with his literary output as well. Overall, the activities are easy and enlightening (though geared to younger students), offering insight into the artist's methods and techniques; they require only simple, readily obtainable supplies. An Italian pronunciation sidebar in the opening chapter; a list of key figures mentioned in the text and their dates (minus a pronunciation guide, which would have been most valuable here); videos; and resources are included. VERDICT A welcome asset in public and school collections; use in units on art and Renaissance history and where biographies of Michelangelo are in demand.—Carol Goldman, Queens Library, NY
KIRKUS Review - This substantial biography of the life and times of the great sculptor, painter, poet, and Renaissance man Michelangelo Buonarroti describes its subject's life in eight chapters. Following his birth and childhood, his life in Rome, Florence and Bologna, his complicated and often fractious relationships with his patrons--from the early Medicis and the Florentine guilds to the popes--and Michelangelo's connections with other artists are described in leisurely detail. Works that no longer survive, as well as those that are well-known today, including the Pietá, the statue of David, the Sistine ceiling, among others, are described and placed in the context of their times. The book's three-column horizontal format lends itself well to illustration, with photos of relevant present-day sites as well as key works by the artist. The text is dense, full of anecdotal material, and clearly at a relatively advanced reading level, so the assumption must be that it will be used primarily by teachers and parents as source material. The 21 illustrated activities, consisting mostly of crafts such as homemade paint, soap sculpture, and how to draw to scale, are at a much lower level than the main text and would be satisfying only for very young children. A helpful timeline is included. Backmatter includes a glossary, key figures, resources, notes, and bibliography.Like many others in the ...For Kids series, stronger for its content than the promised activities but worth it nevertheless. (Biography. 9-14)
School Library Journal - Architect, sculptor, painter,engineer, teacher/mentor, poet, genius--Michelangelo Buonarroti was all theseand more. This intelligently written, comprehensive, and fascinating account ofthe Renaissance icon's life, art, personal and professional relationships, andprickly personality and the ways in which he navigated the religious andpolitical upheavals of his time are handled smoothly and with sophisticatedlanguage. The volume is as much a history of mid-16th-century Italy as it isabout the artist; indeed, this book demonstrates that it would be difficult tounderstand Michelangelo and his output without background knowledge of the erain which he lived and worked and the influences that shaped his ideas. Manyexamples of the artist's works and contemporary graphics grace the book infour-color, and excerpts from his poetry will help familiarize readers with hisliterary output as well. Overall, the activities are easy and enlightening(though geared to younger students), offering insight into the artist's methodsand techniques; they require only simple, readily obtainable supplies. AnItalian pronunciation sidebar in the opening chapter; a list of key figuresmentioned in the text and their dates (minus a pronunciation guide, which wouldhave been most valuable here); videos; and resources are included. VERDICT Awelcome asset in public and school collections; use in units on art andRenaissance history and where biographies of Michelangelo are in demand.-CarolGoldman, Queens Library, NY
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Top Customer Reviews
I like it so much, I just recommended it for sale at the store in a local art museum (where I am on the advisory board)!
Other books by Simonetta Carr include Renee of France (Bitesize Biographies),Weight of a Flame: The Passion of Olympia Morata (Chosen Daughters), and several books in the Christian Biographies for Young Readers.
I had never known before! I traveled to Rome several years ago and got to see the beauty of The Sistine Chapel and The David, I just wish I had read this book before I went. This is definitely a must read for school children in America, if only to introduce them to the finest art in Italian history.
Anyone who has written or read historical books understands the tension between getting the story right and using the story to grab readers by the hand and heart and draw them into the narrative. Carr does both. As readers learn about Michelangelo’s blossoming talents as a young man we can’t help feeling a desire to create. As the artist wrestles with disappointment, mortality, and divine sovereignty, readers can easily join him in the strain.
Michelangelo (1475-1564) was a slightly older contemporary of Martin Luther—the artist was born almost ten years earlier and died almost twenty years later than the theologian. Like all of us they wrestled with the same questions. What is real beauty? How can a mortal experience immortality? They asked these questions in different contexts and did not answer them in exactly the same way. But we need to know both their stories. Both the artist and the churchman can help us know God.
The best historical writing—regardless of the topic—leaves the reader not only with a pocket full of facts about the historical plot, and an experiential acquaintance with the subject, but also a bolder, more robust outlook on life. After finishing the 130 page book I (and my children who read with me) know Michelangelo—not nearly exhaustively—but truly. In a small way, through her interactions with Michelangelo’s works, the author has also given the gift of beauty. Michelangelo has stretched our imaginations. The book has, if only in a small way, helped us to flourish. That is a testimony to good writing.
The book is a history of Michelangelo's life, with corresponding activities included throughout. Readers draw their own monsters (just like Michelangelo) after reading about his education. In the section about the David, they carve a soap sculpture. Other activities include drawing, hidden pictures, origami, and baking. It's a great hands-on experience while learning about this amazing artist and engineer.
The history is well written and informative. Kids that enjoy history and art will appreciate the text and enjoy the activities. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good way to teach their kids about Michelangelo, the Renaissance, or art history.
Content: Nude sculptures and paintings (I didn't think it needed mentioning, but included it just in case anyone wasn't expecting it).
Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.