Title: 13 Sculptures Children Should Know
Author: Angela Wenzel
Illustrator: Axel Scheffler
Year published: 2010
Number of pages: 48
Recommended age: 8+
Summary (from Amazon): A winged, headless goddess from the third century; a gigantic tube of toothpaste; a tribal mask; a monumental bronze statue of Buddha–these creations and more are featured in this book of sculptures that are fun to explore and important in the history of art.
Sculpture is inherently interesting to children, who naturally respond to shape, size, texture and color. This book takes a close look at thirteen of the world’s most fascinating sculptures, including works by Michelangelo, Rodin, and Niki de Saint Phalle, and other works from around the world. Shaped from wood, stone, metal and plastic, these works tell us much about the culture in which they were created. Each page is filled with colorful photographs and accessible information about the work, the artist who created it, and the world in which it was made. Various games and puzzles enhance this introduction to three-dimensional masterpieces, which is certain to whet its young readers’ appetites for more.
1. You chose to review a non-fiction book. Which do you prefer, fiction or non-fiction? I like both fiction and non-fiction – fiction because it is entertaining and non-fiction because it teaches you facts.
2. What do you think of the cover and/or the pictures in the book? The pictures in the book are photographs. I like them because they show you what the sculptures really look like.
3. What did you learn from the book? I learned the back stories that I never knew about some statues. Like the Burghers of Calais, who had to wear long shirts and wear ropes like you hang people with when they went to give the king the keys to the city.
4. Did you have favorite statues? My favorites were the Winged Victory and Cloud Gate, which just happen to be the oldest statue and the newest statue in the book. I liked learning about how Winged Victory was broken into so many pieces that they had to put together and that’s why it has no arms and no head. I like Cloud Gate just because it’s so cool how it reflects everything.
5. Which statue would you most like to see in real life? Cloud Gate. My grandmother has seen it, and I want to see it, too.
6. What do you like about going to art museums? Art can make you funny, happy, creative and full of wonder.
7. Was the book hard to read? There are some words that are kind of difficult, but if you take a few seconds, you can figure them out.
Granddaughter's Rating: ★★★★★
What it’s about: 13 Sculptures That Children Should Know is one in a series of a dozen or so books about art. I bought five of them as a group gift for my grandchildren last Christmas, and they are getting quite a bit of use. I like that the books don’t talk down to children. There’s a glossary for words like “patina” and “obelisk”, but just the names of the artists can be quite a mouthful. But the book is like a buffet: You take what you can digest and leave the rest for another day. Helen likes all of the books, but she chose the one about sculptures to review.
My thoughts: When I was a kid, we had a set of World Book encyclopedias that I loved browsing through. The pictures of paintings and sculptures were my favorites, although I also enjoyed topics such as dog breeds and national parks. Now almost no one has encyclopedias. Everyone uses the Internet. I bought these books to recreate for my grandchildren the fun of browsing a book and looking at the pictures, and I’m very happy with the results. They will pick them up and look through them for a few minutes and then put them down, and they often remember details that didn’t register with me. I know that as my grandchildren get to travel and see famous art works with their own eyes, that their experience will be richer for having read about them earlier. That’s the way it was for me the first time I saw a “Mary Cassatt” and a “Winslow Homer” that I knew from my World Book.
As for the quality of the book, the photographs are beautiful, and the text is well-written. There’s a timeline and an informational sidebar about each work, but the layout is still clean and uncluttered. I like that readers are referred to web sites where they can learn more about some of the works. I’m not against using the Internet. I just don’t want it ever to replace actual books.
My bottom line: I recommend these books for increasing the art literacy of almost anyone, young or mature like me. My only complaint is that I found a couple of typos. That’s upsetting for former English teachers like me!
Grandmother's Rating: ★★★★½
Where to Buy:
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