Think and Make Like an Artist

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Making art is one of the most rewarding–and relaxing–activities a young person can engage in. But is there an art to making art? Authors Claudia Boldt and Eleanor Meredith answer this question in their new Thames & Hudson picture book, Think and Make Like an Artist.

In the book, the world is an artsy place full of paintings, sculptures, photographs and other works. The authors break down the definition and origin of art by explaining that artists must first think about an idea, then decide how they will make it (by sculpting, sketching, sewing, etc.), and then they project the message they are sending to the public by actually “sitting down and making something.”

After this brief explanation, the authors quickly move on to the types of art that can be produced, like costume designs, illustrations, paper crafts, sculpture or paintings. For example, children first learn what a painting is, than how to identify abstract paintings, and then how to paint abstracts by learning the difference between happy squiggles and angry squiggles, and happy colors versus sad colors. Children also learn what a sculpture is, why an artist would choose to sculpt rather than to paint or sketch, and then how children might make their own sculpture.

Children learn to make underwater cities, design costumes, make pasta masks, and an array of other art activities. The easy-to-follow prose in this lively and colorful little book offers step-by-step lessons on how to make unique and exciting projects. The example images include lots of circles, squares, abstracts, and other artsy objects, and should keep young readers engaged for hours, and older readers dreaming about their favorite long-ago art projects that were made with construction paper and lots of Elmer’s glue.

Use this book in elementary and middle grade classrooms, in formal art classes, or on a rainy morning or afternoon when the class has free time on their hands.

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