Thursday, October 14, 2010
Look What I Found!
The book I want to share this week is one of those lucky library finds that found its way off the shelf and into our favorite books pile. It’s no secret that hiding games and seek and find books are popular around here. I feel like the winner after finding this treasure on the library shelf.
Lots to Discover
Both B and I are enjoying I Spy a Lion: Animals in Art, by Lucy Micklethwait. As you might guess from the title, readers are challenged to find animals in the illustrations of the book. What you might not guess is that the art in question is composed of full-color reproductions of famous works ranging from classical to modern and including artists from Titian to Peter Blume. On the facing page of each reproduction, the reader is challenged in the classic game style, “I spy with my little eye…” Some of the animals are prominent features, even the subjects, of the artwork; others are more challenging and obscure details.
More than Fun and Games
Besides being thoroughly entertaining, I Spy a Lion, along with others in Micklethwait’s series, exposes children to great works of art and engages them in viewing it in a critical way. The art is not presented as spectacular in any way other than disguising the subjects of the game. But the act of searching for each animal and discussing the content of each work exposes children to not only viewing but experiencing these masterpieces. Once we found the animals identified in the text, we scanned the art for other objects to “Spy” and continued the game. Other books in the series include Shapes in Art, Colors in Art, Numbers in Art, An Alphabet in Art, and Transportation in Art. Sharing these books with your child is a cognitive double-dip: exposure to fantastic art and practice with developmentally appropriate themes and vocabulary. We’ll be requesting the rest of the series from our library for sure, and likely picking them up to add to our personal collection as well.
Appropriate for toddlers, preschoolers, primary grades, everyone!
Are masterpieces lost on the toddler set, or are they worth the effort to share? Don’t forget to link up your own recommendations below!