Monday, March 24, 2014

Magritte's Marvelous Hat by D.B. Johnson



This is a fun adventure with the French artist Rene Magritte, pictured as a dog by D.B. Johnson. Rene finds a magic hat which floats above his head and enables him to paint surreal paintings. The hat floats out the window and Rene's search for the magic hat begins. In several places D.B. Johnson uses clear plastic overlays to add to the surreal effect. Though not a true biography, this book introduces surrealism and Magritte's style to kids through the artwork. There's also a short biography in the back of the book if more information is needed.

The Noisy Paint Box by Barb Rosenstock



This book is a fictionalized biography of Wassily Kandinsky, the Russian abstract artist. Wassily received a painting kit when he was young and as he painted, began to hear the colors translated into sounds (a condition known as synesthesia). "The Noisy Paint Box" introduces children to the idea that art doesn't have to be representational (eg. a tree is a tree), but can be a celebration of form, line and color. It took Wassily years after being a lawyer and studying traditional art to reach his full expression as an abstract artist. Though not a strict biography, "The Noisy Paint Box" touches upon the importance art plays in one's life and provides some background information on Kandinsky at the end of the book.The illustrator Mary Grandpre (of the Harry Potter books) does a wonderful job of capturing what synesthesia must seem like to those with the condition or "gift".

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything by Maira Kalman




Ms. Kalman dives into the biography of Thomas Jefferson with her very colorful and quirky gouache paintings. Her focus isn't on the facts of his life (though some are mentioned and there's a notes section in the back if you want to know more). She paints a full picture of Jefferson through his peculiarities and passions: his love of learning, music, gardening and his estate, Monticello. Also mentioned is Jefferson's inconsistency over slavery and his relationship with Sally Hemmings, told with honesty but not overdone. 
This is a fun biography, with colorful pictures, interesting typography and a focus on Jefferson the man.
Maira also has another biography about Lincoln ("Looking at Lincoln") which I'm sure is as fun a read for kids.

Friday, November 16, 2012

What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety

This is the interactive go to resource for educating, motivating, and empowering kids to overcome their overgrown worries.  If you are the parent or caregiver of an anxious child, you know what it feels like to be held hostage.  Children who worry too much are held captive by their fears and go to great lengths to avoid frightening situations. Simply telling an anxious child to stop worrying doesn’t work, nor does applying adult logic.  What to Do When You Worry Too Much, will teach you and your child a new and more successful way to think about and manage anxiety. The techniques described in this book will help your child take control. This book is great!  -Aurora



TIME for Kids BIG Book of Why: 1,001 Facts Kids Want to Know

  TIME for Kids BIG Book of Why: 1,001 Facts Kids Want to Know, by the editors of TIME for KIDS magazine is a good book for kids of all ages!  This is a must -have book to satisfy the most curious of kids and provokes a great way to encourage interest and knowledge about a wide range of subjects, as well as to stimulate reading. The book is divided by subject area - humans, animals, environment/nature, technology, and space. - It is written in an upbeat manner and each answer is accompanied by either a photo or an illustration.   Great for sharing time for adult and child!  -Aurora


ALSO TRY:

TIME For Kids Big Book of How 

TIME for Kids Big Book of What

TIME For Kids Big Book of Science Experiments: A step-by-step guide

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What We Wear: Dressing Up Around the World

Vibrant photos from around the world showing what different types of clothing children wear to play, celebrate, go to school, etc.

Also try:
Faith
Schools in Many Cultures
Clothes in Many Cultures
Houses and Homes Around the World

Friday, February 24, 2012

Children Just Like Me

Children just Like Me is a Unicef publication. It gives you glimpses into the lives of kids all over the world. There are lots of pictures of the children, their families, friends, pets and homes. You learn a bit about what each child wears, eats, what they do during a typical day, and more. It is very light-hearted, in that it does not touch on the hardships and struggles the kids in some of the countries likely face. It is a fun, interesting way to introduce some other cultures to young children.

Also Try: A School Like Mine by Unicef
               Houses and Homes by Anne Morris
               What the World Eats by Faith D'Aluisio