Saturday, April 22, 2017

PICTURE BOOK - Why is Art Full of Naked People and Other Vital Questions about Art? by Susie Hodge

Illustrated by Claire Goble
2016, Thames & Hudson, Britain
HC $19.95
96 pgs.
Goodreads rating: 4.12 - 25 ratings
My rating: 5
Glossary, Index
Endpapers: Light blue with all sorts of different question markes in white
Thick board cover - not sure why, it makes it appear to be a big board book, which it isn't

My comments:  When I picked up this book, before opening it I asked myself, "How can you write a whole book - for kids - explaining why art if full of naked people?" Well, come to find out, it's the second half of the title that really explains the book - Other Vital Questions About Art.  Hodge uses 88 pieces of well-known art by famous artists, and with humorous and informative short paragraphs answers good questions and gives interesting information while giving the reader a chance to examine great art.  As many times (hundreds!) that I've looked at Seurat's  "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Tatte" I never, ever realized that he'd drawn a frame around the picture using more dots - thousands of them!  I really, really enjoyed reading this book....and discovered quite a bit of new artists while doing so!

GoodreadsWhy is Art Full of Naked People? is an irreverent and informative primer that asks tricky questions about what makes art art. What is with all the fruit? Why is art so weird nowadays? There are questions about how art views the world, from cave paintings through to Cubism, from the Renaissance to contemporary art, questions about different genres, including still-life painting, landscapes and portraits, and questions about the role and value of art in the past and today.
          Artists ask questions when they make art and viewers ask questions when they look at art; this book provides an engaging way for young people to explore asking and answering questions for themselves. The book is structured around twenty-two questions, each one tackled over two spreads. Through this provocative approach it offers an introduction to art history and a toolkit to enable young people to feel confident asking questions, searching for answers, and “reading” art for themselves.

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