Book Review: 13 British Artists Children Should Know @Prestel_UK0
Straight away author Alison Baverstock answers a question we had:
‘It was very difficult to choose just 13 British Artists to explore in this book.’
The British Artists chosen represent a range of eclectic people who influences, training, and family encouragement also varied. One common thread they all seem to have is that they weren’t particularly famous in their own time. This is something that is often the case with artists with exceptions like Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst and Banksy.
13 British Artists Children Should Know is 45 pages of British artists that you may or may not have heard of but each artists produced art that revealed something about being an American. This book is more geared to Children (as opposed to 13 Art Inventions Children Should Know) but still best for 7+. Each artists has two pages which describes not only their art, but a brief biography of them as a person. This helps build the profile and explain more in-depth why their art is significant.
Alison also suggest you look at art in person by visiting museums, art galleries and art in public spaces. This is such brilliant advice for any age group and sometimes parents forget that a visit to a local gallery or exhibition can make a huge difference.
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 Artists: Born, Died, Lived in (the cities), Known For and Children. This could be a fun fact, interesting tidbit, etc. For example, John Everett Millais paren’ts encouraged his art so much they moved to London and provided him a full kitted out studio for him to work in!
Very colourful pictures also help with the comprehension and importance of each artists. 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. There are also splashes of activities sprinkled throughout the pages. For example, Artist L.S. Lowry draws scenes that we sometimes take for granted. We are asked to think of things we see every day that we might have seen as the subject of a picture in an art gallery.
The artists are described to ensure new terminology is introduced while ensuring kids (with parents) would understand or ask questions. 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.
- Mary Beale
- William Blake
- J.M.W. Turner
- John Everett Millais
- L.S. Lowry
- Henry Moore
- Leonora Carrington
- Beryl Cook
- Gilbert & George
- David Hockney
- Antony Gormley
- Cornelia Parker
- Yinka Shonibare MBE
4.5 out of 5 stars for this book.