It’s a wonderful thing to discover budding artists in your family or early elementary classrooms. But how do you nurture this talent? How do you help emerging artists connect to the art around them. Author Josephine Seblon’s new oversized picture book, Mini Artists: 20 Projects Inspired By the Great Artists, shows you how and makes it fun in the process.
The book opens to Ms. Seblon’s dilemma of how to get her own two children engaged with art. Her solution was to offer “knowledge of art history” to feed their imaginations. She produced twenty projects that inspired children’s love of visual arts through studying the work of artists of the past, artists of the present, and more. Each project offers insight into the highlighted artist, then breaks down the method, step-by-step, for children to make their own mini-masterpieces from what they’ve learned.
Beginning with art masters from the past, children learn about Ice Age Stencils, working with clay, and the ancient art of Chinese ink-washing. They examine the stunning beauty of rainbow windows, the mystery of mosaic faces, and the sheer joy of making animal figurines. Moving forward in time, they learn of contemporary artists and their methods, including abstract weaving, soapy sculptures, and the fun of making surreal creatures. There are so many projects that very young children may have trouble choosing which to tackle, but the handy “how to use this book” section in the opening pages solve this problem by giving young artists tips on picking the right project, testing and using different techniques, and making the projects they choose their own.
This dual how-to book teaches children all about the masters and then offers art lessons that will help sharpen their own skills. The projects are lively and promise to provide hours of fun. It should be noted that while the prose is simplistic in nature, the book seems to be written for art teachers or artistic parents rather than young artists. Illustrator Robert Sae-Heng’s drawings are adorable. They capture vibrant colors, lively movement, and satisfying facial expressions as children tackle and master each project.
Use this book at home with your budding artist, or in an afternoon art class for lively projects. Enjoy!