When Lisa's cat Picasso gets lost within the paintings at an art gallery, it is up to Lisa to find him. Can she trace Picasso's steps through the history of art?
When I saw this come up for review I had a quick google and decided it would be perfect for my six and five year old. We home school and my kids have been learning little bits now and then about famous art as well as regular trips up to our local small art gallery so thought this would be perfect for the kids to read.
Pulling this out of the box my kids eyes lit up and my boy and girl were both fighting over it once I reminded my son that a pink cover doesn't mean it is for girls only. The illustrations are lovely and really well done and they catch my children's eyes. Lisa has a naughty cat called Picasso (perfect name for a cat in this book) and quite magically Picasso jumps into some of the art gallery paintings leading Lisa and us, on a chase through some very famous artworks.
At the end of the book there is a copy of the real life versions of the artwork Picasso runs through, giving us the artist name, title and when it was painted. This is really good as this way the kids can look further into the artwork, look it up on line and so forth. My kids have really enjoyed this book and it's really giving them some good insight into more art in a fun and light way.
Mr four looked at this book and initially discounted it because it was a "girl's book". When I told him it was about some famous paintings, he got excited and was extremely willing to listen to the story.
When I held the book, the hard cover gave me the sense of quality and longevity for the book. The pages felt nice and stiff as I turned them and they have obviously used a high grade of paper. It was a pleasure to hold this book in my hands.
During my education, I enjoyed learning about famous artists in history. This book appealed to me as I was interested to see how the author, Sophie Norsa, incorporated some famous artwork into her story.
I thought that it was cute to have the cat in the story named Picasso. This was one of the many ways that Norsa has introduced famous artworks and artists to the young reader. As a parent and a teacher, it was a great opportunity to explain who Picasso was and we popped onto Google and find some of his paintings. This added extra value to the reading of the book.
As the story progresses, I could just see how children could get caught up in their imagination as they look at the wonderful images created by artists. I encourage discussion and storytelling with my children and we often imagine what would happen if we were whisked off to a far off land etc. This book definitely encourages this precious creativity and adventure in children.
Famous artwork isn't something that is always introduced to young children and I really value the way this is done in a fun manner in this book. The younger children are introduced to artwork, the more likely they are to enjoy and appreciate it as adults.
After reading this book in a classroom, the children could choose some paintings by other artists to incorporate into their own story. I would think that there would be some juicy adventures happening in children's writing with this book for inspiration.
The back of the book shows the artwork which has been referenced and some details about each one. This allowed me to talk to Mr 4 about the paintings used in the book without having to look for information outside the book.
I think that the cover of the book really does draw girls to it rather than boys. The story inside is very much aimed at both boys and girls so it is a shame if boys choose not to read it simply because of the colour and look of the cover.
I felt that the price was rather high at $30 but felt that it didn't deserve to be marked down for it because in reality that is the price you pay for a hard cover book. The value I got out of the book was increases when I popped online to find that there are teaching notes available on a website to use with the book. When you think of it as a teaching resource, the price doesn't become so much of an issue.
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