This series meets National Curriculum Standards for: Social Studies: Culture
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Mike Venezia is the author of several nonfiction books for children.From School Library Journal:
ea. vol: illus. by author. 32p. photogs. reprods. (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists Series). CIP. Childrens. 1988. PLB $9.95. Grade 1-3 Despite the current trend to introduce music, literature, and art to very young children, these books serve to illustrate the limitations of such efforts. Here the lives and works of two brilliant and revolutionary painters have been reduced to a series of basic facts and cliches. Children reading these books will get less biographic information than could be found in an encyclopedia and no insight into the unique vision and talent that made these artists important. Venezia's analysis of the artists' style is simplistiche attributes Picasso's blue period to depression over the death of a friend and his rose period to a new love. He makes no attempt to explain the principals of Cubism, focusing on the peculiarities of the images rather than the ideas behind them. His treatment of Rembrandt's work is equally shallow, describing the objects pictured rather than the artist's interpretation. Although he mentions the variety of brush strokes in one Rembrandt painting, he spends more time pointing out the spilled glasses of wine in the painting and never mentions Rembrandt's signature use of light and shadow or the richness and warmth of his color. In addition to reproductions of the paintings, captioned cartoons illustrate the text. The combination of jokes and simplicity creates an overall sense of condescension. Those wishing to introduce children to the works of these artists should wait until they are old enough for Ernest Raboff's fine biographic interpretation (Lippincott). Eleanor K. MacDonald, Beverly Hills Public Lib .
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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