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      Cézanne’s Parrot

      by Amy Guglielmo

      Apr 2020

      Arts Elementary Plus

      All Cézanne wants is to be a great painter like his friends Monet, Pissarro, and Renoir. But when he shows his works, the professors, the critics, and the collectors all dismiss him: “Too flat!” “Too much paint!” “These are rough and unfinished!” Even his own pet parrot, Bisou, can’t be brought to say, “Cézanne is a great painter!” And who can blame them?Cézanne doesn’t care about tradition, and he doesn’t follow the rules. He’s painting in a way no one else has done before, creating something completely new—and he’s destined to change the world of art forever.

      Cézanne’s Parrot is a spirited celebration of creativity, determination, and perseverance—and the artist who would become known as the father of modern art.

      Feed Your Mind: A Story of August Wilson

      by Jen Bryant

      Mar 2020

      Arts Elementary Plus

      August Wilson (1945–2005) was a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who had a particular talent for capturing the authentic, everyday voice of black Americans. As a child, he read off the soup cans and cereal boxes in the pantry, and when his mother brought him to the library, his whole world opened up. After facing intense prejudice at school from both students and some teachers, August dropped out. However, he continued reading and educating himself independently. He felt that if he could read about it, then he could teach himself anything and accomplish anything.

      Like many of his plays, Feed Your Mind is told in two acts, revealing how Wilson grew up to be one of the most influential American playwrights.

      Author’s note. Time line. Notes. Selected bibliography. List of plays by August Wilson. Full-color illustrations were created using ink, colored pencil, acrylic paint, and cut paper, and assembled and colored in Adobe Photoshop.

      Playing with Collage

      by Jeannie Baker

      Feb 2020

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Whether using dried flowers or tiny shells, spaghetti or postage stamps, Jeannie Baker draws from the world around her to make work that is singularly beautiful and imaginative. Incorporating a wide range of textures, her arresting collage pieces have earned her international acclaim. Now she shares her secrets and encourages readers to get creative: each of the four main sections in Playing with Collage presents an abstract collage by the artist and offers suggestions and starting points for anyone aspiring to master the art.

      Answer page. Full-color photographs of collage constructions.

      Little Frida: A Story of Frida Kahlo

      by Anthony Browne

      Jan 2020

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Following a bout with polio at the age of six, Frida Kahlo's life was marked by pain and loneliness. In real life she walked with a limp, but in her dreams she flew. One day, her imagination took her on a journey to a girl in white who could dance without pain and hold her secrets, an indelible figure who would find her way into Frida's art in years to come. Inspired by Frida Kahlo's diary, Anthony Browne captures the essence of the artist's early flights of fancy and depicts both Frida and her imaginary friend in vivid illustrations evoking Kahlo's iconic style. A note at the end offers a brief biography of the artist who has intrigued art lovers the world over.

      Note on Frida Kahlo. Full-color illustrations done in watercolor and gouache.

      Hi, I'm Norman: The Story of American Illustrator Norman Rockwell

      by Robert Burleigh

      Dec 2019

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Norman Rockwell is best known for capturing the American spirit as a painter and illustrator in the late twentieth century. This beautifully illustrated, first-person narrative explores Rockwell’s life in episodes based on important moments in American history. Norman Rockwell is not only a great American artist, but he also successfully chronicled two generations of American life, making him one of the most beloved and well-known American artists of all time.

      Further information about Norman Rockwell, with photograph. Author’s note. Illustrator’s note. Time line. List of paintings represented in book. Reproductions of five Rockwell paintings with commentary. Suggestions for additional sources. Quotes. Full-color illustrations were rendered in watercolor, gouache, and pencil.

      Art Sparks: Draw, Paint, Make, and Get Creative with 53 Amazing Projects!

      by Marion Abrams

      Nov 2019

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Kids love arts and crafts and every kid can be an artist with this book as their guide.

      Working with basic art supplies — from paint, markers, paper, and glue to household finds like cardboard boxes and fabric scraps — children learn that as long as they can imagine it, they can create it! This rich collection of 53 inspiring art projects for kids aged 6 and up is curated by two art educators with decades of experience, and offers up a ton of freeform fun. From Doodlemonsters and Painted Animal Rocks to Paper Bead Jewelry and Nature Weaving, projects vary in difficulty to engage a wide range of ages and abilities, and many can be made in under an hour. Every project featured in the book has been kid-made (and kid-approved!), and photos of the finished pieces serve as inspiration for kids everywhere to use art to express their imagination, humor, creativity, and individuality.

      Metric conversion chart. Project templates. Full-color photographs.

      A Life Made by Hand: The Story of Ruth Asawa

      by Andrea D'Aquino

      Oct 2019

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Ruth Asawa (1926-2013) was an influential and award-winning sculptor, a beloved figure in the Bay Area art world, and a devoted activist who advocated tirelessly for arts education. This lushly illustrated book by collage artist Andrea D'Aquino brings Asawa's creative journey to life, detailing the influence of her childhood in a farming family, and her education at Black Mountain College where she pursued an experimental course of education with leading avant-garde artists and thinkers such as Anni and Josef Albers, Buckminster Fuller, Merce Cunningham, and Robert Rauschenberg. Delightful and substantial, this engaging title for young art lovers includes a page of teaching tools for parents and educators.

      Author’s note. More about Ruth Asawa. Resources. Instructions to make a paper dragonfly. Full-color illustrations created with charcoal and colored pencil drawings combined with hand-painted and monoprinted paper.

      Birds of a Feather: Bowerbirds and Me

      by Susan L. Roth

      Oct 2019

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Sibert Medalist Susan L. Roth is like a bowerbird, a small black bird found in Australia and New Guinea that builds elaborate structures from various materials they find near their habitats.

      Though Susan creates books to attract readers and bowerbirds build bowers to attract a mate, both get their ideas from the world around them and the materials they find. Both love colors. No two of their respective creations are alike. And most importantly, both Susan and the bowerbirds aspire for their finished works to be greater than the sum of their parts.

      Complete with engaging backmatter and dazzling artwork crammed full of so much to look at, this visually delightful picture book from award-winning author and artist Susan L. Roth is a fascinating comparison of art we create and art we find in nature.

      Facts about bowerbirds. Artwork notes. Bibliography. Full-color mixed-media illustrations.

      Degas, Painter of Ballerinas

      by Susan Goldman Rubin

      Sep 2019

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Through Edgar Degas’s beloved paintings, drawings, and sculptures, Susan Goldman Rubin conveys the wonder and excitement of the ballet world. Degas is one of the most celebrated painters of the impressionist movement, and his ballerina paintings are among the most favorite of his fans. In his artwork, Degas captures every moment, from the relentless hours of practice to the glamour of appearing on stage, revealing a dancer’s journey from novice to prima ballerina. Observing young students, Degas drew their poses again and again, determined to achieve perfection. The book includes a brief biography of his entire life, endnotes, bibliography, where to see his paintings, and an index.

      Further information about Edgar Degas. Author’s note. Source notes. Glossary. List of museums with art by Degas. Bibliography. Index. Full-color reproductions of Degas paintings.

      Two Brothers, Four Hands: The Artists Alberto and Diego Giacometti

      by Jan Greenberg

      Sep 2019

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Everyone who knew them agreed. Alberto was the genius of the family. His younger brother Diego was his opposite—he didn’t care much for books or schoolwork, and he had no idea what he would be when he grew up. But despite their differences, the two brothers shared an intense bond.
      Alberto Giacometti became one of the iconic artists of the twentieth century, whose tall, spindly sculptures grace the collections of museums around the world. Diego was always at his side, helping and encouraging, and in his spare time creating remarkable pieces of furniture, works of sculpture in their own right.
      The poignant story of brothers and sculptors Alberto and Diego Giacometti is skillfully brought to life in the hands of multiple Sibert Honor authors Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, and the spectacular artwork of Hadley Hooper.
      This lavishly illustrated 64-page book includes extensive backmatter, complete with a timeline, source notes, photographs, and an essay on how to look at a Giacometti sculpture.

      Note on Giacometti’s Walking Man. Time line. Notes on text. Bibliography. Black-and-white photographs and full-color reproductions. Full-color illustrations created with paint and ink and finished in Photoshop.

      Comics: Easy as ABC!

      by Ivan Brunetti

      Aug 2019

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Filled with activities, Comics: Easy as ABC is a fun way for young readers to effortlessly and playfully start thinking like writers and artists. This simple guide is also aimed at parents, teachers, and librarians: all will enjoy learning the ABCs of this popular and rapidly growing medium. Children kindergarten-age and up are shown how to use basic shapes to make faces, eyes, noses, and design their own characters. Ivan Brunetti’s funny and incisive advice on the language of comics (panels, lettering, balloons, and so much more) naturally leads budding artists and writers into thinking about their characters, settings, and prompts. A section with essential tips on how to read comics with young children rounds out the package. Featuring advice from master cartoonists and star authors— including Geoffrey Hayes, Eleanor Davis, Art Spiegelman, and many others.

      About the contributors. Index. Further resources. Selected bibliography. Full-color illustrations.

      Inside Outside

      by Anne-Margot Ramstein

      Jul 2019

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Safe inside its shell, a baby bird prepares to brave the world. A spelunker descends into a wide and glittering cavern while fellow explorers cluster around a crack in the earth. Fire-red ants march busily around their anthill, oblivious of a hungry anteater waiting above. Smart and stylish, this oversize art book takes a unique approach to the concept of inside and outside, offering clever and unexpected examples that will delight readers and spark conversations about context and perspective.

      Full-color digital illustrations.
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