If Picasso Painted a Snowman
If Picasso Painted a Snowman

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Annotation: A whimsical introduction to the lives and creative approaches of leading artists imagines snowmen illustrated in the styles of such masters as Georgia O'Keefe, Claude Monet and Jackson Pollock.
Genre: Visual arts
Catalog Number: #182551
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Tilbury House
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Illustrator: Newbold, Greg
Pages: 36
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-88448-593-5 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-4580-5
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-88448-593-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-4580-2
Dewey: 709
LCCN: 2017941519
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
With big, brightly colored original illustrations that range from evocative to downright authentic-looking, the Newbolds introduce 17 "modern" (more or less) painters by suggesting how each might have depicted a snowman. A smiling hamster wielding a paintbrush conducts viewers through a gallery that begins with a cubist "Picasso," looks back to a vague shape in a Turneresque blizzard, and then darts in no particular order from Lichtenstein and O'Keeffe to Klimt, Pollock, Van Gogh (where the hamster acquires a bandage on its ear), Sonia Delaunay, and, finally, Grant Wood, with a version of American Gothic. Captions identify each artist, and appended biographical sketches add further information. For the most part, the artists make up a familiar roster of dead, white, male Europeans or Americans, and an inviting blank canvas at the end may prompt some would-be Picassos to draw directly on the page. Still, along with introductions to some significant figures in art history, readers will come away with clear notions of their characteristic styles, as well as visual differences between schools of art.
Kirkus Reviews
A range of art styles is explored in this picture book that invites readers to imagine how various artists would paint a snowman.An anthropomorphic hamster wields a paintbrush in opening double-page spreads alongside narration that never mentions it. "If someone asked you to paint a snowman, you would probably start with three white circles stacked upon one another." The hamster is doing exactly that. It then describes how 17 different artists would paint a snowman, describing diverse styles, techniques, and movements. Diversity ends on that note, however, with only three women among the 17 artists (Georgia O'Keefe, Pablita Velarde, and Sonia Delaunay), one person of color (Jacob Lawrence) and one Native person (Pablita Velarde). The examples of the art mimic some of the artists' famous paintings but incorporate imagined snowmen into them. For example, Dali's "snowmen drip like melted cheese" in a double-page spread that emulates The Persistence of Memory with flattened, drooping snowmen rather than timepieces depicted on the surreal landscape. The off-and-on reappearance of the artist hamster seems a bit intrusive, but a closing spread with a blank easel nicely invites readers to copy it and make their own snowman painting. Endnotes provide further context about the artists, but they do not consistently name the referenced paintings or provide sources for quotations. A playful introduction to various art movements, albeit a narrow one with weak backmatter. (Picture book. 5-9)
Publishers Weekly
The Newbolds use the example of a snowman to drive home the idea that -not all artists paint the same.- With a cherubic hamster as guide, who wields paintbrushes and mugs for readers, Amy Newbold imagines how 17 famous artists might have painted a snowman, giving her husband a chance to try out each artist-s style. A large snowman cuddles two smaller ones, all wrapped up in a quilted blanket, in a Klimt-inspired spread; in a remake of Dalí-s The Persistence of Memory, flattened snowmen replace drooping clocks. Newbold keeps the text short and punchy (-Blam! Roy Lichtenstein-s snow hero saves the day!-), and she covers a range of artistic styles, from Monet-s impressionism to Klee-s abstract art and the -flat- images of Pueblo artist Pablita Velarde. A blank easel invites readers to contribute their own snowmen, and the book concludes with capsule biographies of the featured painters. The hamster-s antics can be a bit much (he-s shown with a bandage over a missing ear on the Van Gogh page), but in all it-s an inviting introduction to a range of important painters. Ages 6-12. (Oct.)

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ALA Booklist (12/1/17)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Word Count: 218
Reading Level: 2.5
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.5 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 198169 / grade: Lower Grades
Guided Reading Level: O
Fountas & Pinnell: O

Using the simple premise of drawing a snowman, this delightful, whimsical picture book demonstrates how such artists as Pablo Picasso, George Seurat, and Georgia O'Keefe might have interpreted a snowman through their artistic styles. Full color. 9 x 10.

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