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  • Book Review: 13 Art Inventions Children Should Know @Prestel_UK

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    December 27th, 2011mardixonCulture, Literacy

    Did you know Jan van Eyck was the first person (known) to do a self-portrait?  Or the Master Wenceslas created the first ‘weather in art’ painting?

    13 Art Inventions Children Should Know is 45 pages of griping, fun, quirky and oh so interesting facts on inventions that we take for granted but were so important to today’s artists. Although the book is geared towards kids, best for 8+, I could see this book being used for college art courses for beginners.

    Each page is laid out with a timeline at the top of each page to provide a placement in history.  On the left column is a Fact box of the invention: Who it was invented by, date, place. Below that is additional information as appropriate.  This could be a fun fact, interesting tidbit, etc.

    Very colourful pictures also help with the comprehension of the invention.  Where appropriate, there are websites that link to more information. I really liked the website link, a bit worried that it might date itself but it will still inspire kids recognize they can research more if they chose.

    The terminology is mostly easy to follow, with background information provided for each invention and it’s significance in history of art highlighted within the two pages dedicated to each invention.  Terminology that might be confusing has an explanation in the Glossary at the back of the book.  One thing I would have liked is to have the words at the bottom of the page and in the Glossary so I didn’t have to flip back and forth.

    The 13 Inventions are:

    • Painting – Rhinoceroses in Europe:  Paintings that are 15-30,000 years old!
    • Weather in Art – The First Painting of a Snowball Fight: No more boring backgrounds
    • Central Perspective – Spaces Become Real – Finally people are the right size.
    • The Self Portrait – Artists Look at Themselves in the Mirror: Faces become real.
    • Landscape Painting – Bible Stories Outside our Front Door
    • Cooperplate Engraving – The Beginning of Mass Media: Screen print with metal.
    • Photography – Pictures without Paint of Paintbrush: A different form of art.
    • The Paint Tube – Out of the Studio!: Impressionists are born!
    • The Cartoon – Pictures Learn to Speak
    • Abstract Art – Feelings Turn into Paintings: Painting what you feel, not what  you see.
    • The Readymade – Everyday Objects in Art: Is a sink a piece of art?  Yup.
    • Action Painting – Splashy Art
    • Graffiti – The City as Canvas: One word, Banksy.
    • Glossary

    Huge 5 out of 5 stars for this book.

    Prestel Books

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