Anna’s Art Adventure, by Bjorn Sortland. After the success of Katie & The Mona Lisa and the fact that I want to start getting books that Red Ted (3) can grow into, I decided to get hold of Anna’s Art Adventure. When we first opened it, I though 0h-oh – a reasonable amount of text and not your usual “small child friendly” illustrations. However, we sat down to read. I decided to skim over the text and “tell” Red Ted the story as we went along. Starting off with Anna talking to a very kind and old looking Rembrandt then visiting Munch and the very sad van Gogh. On we go through painting after painting, meeting various artists along the way. Surprisingly Red Ted loved it! And asked for me to read it 4 times in a row. It DID help, that Anna had to go to the toilet and was wandering through the paintings to find “Duchamp’s Toilet”. Toilets always grab little people’s attention! Red Ted was particularly curious about Picasso’s Dora Maar Seated and Bread and Fruit Dish on a Table – where everything is “square” and you can see it from all sides at once. He also asked why Andy WooWoo (Andy Warhol) was selling soup on the beach. I was chuffed to bits. The back of the book has extra information on the artist and some of the paintings shown. It is fabulous and I hope that Red Ted will still enjoy it when he is 10! A great reference book for a school art project!
Care for Creation by Christy Baldwin
Recently, I was asked whether I would be interested in reviewing Care for Creation with Red Ted. I jumped at the chance, as it is a topic very close to my heart: how to minimise our impact on the environment and also how to share this sentiment and these values with our children. Needless to say Red Ted sees me using the compost bin and taking bags with us to do the shopping, so my main way of teaching is through “doing”. However, I do find, that having a book to read together really reinforces concepts and makes Red Ted think about things more. So this book really is fabulous. There are so many ideas and suggestions to work through, from not wasting water whilst brushing our teeth to using the bicycle more. It is a great way to start “discussions”, though of course Red Ted is not even 3 yet, so “discussions” are at a higher level. We had to print out a pdf for the review, which a) wasn’t too environmentally friendly and b) made the reading experience less pleasurable. I tried reading it with him on the computer, but it just wasn’t the same. So, it is hard to say how much he would have REALLY taken to it. But we enjoyed it overall. He did point at the different pictures (e.g. the brushing our teeth one, a current “issue” in our house!) and it was great to have some handy ways of discussing things. I do worry a little about whether this makes young children “worry” – seeing an oil slick covered bird can be very troubling for young minds (I remember worrying about all sorts of things as a child). It is not my “favourite” book around, however, it is extremely useful for talking through key environmental issues! Great for homeschooling parents. For more info, visit Care for Creation