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Willy's Pictures [Hardcover]

Anthony Browne
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, 2 Oct 2000 --  
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Book Description

2 Oct 2000
Willy's pictures look like great works of art, but not quite. Willy has added himself and his friends to famous paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Picasso and many more. Delight in Willy's portfolio, then open the fold-out pages to see the original pictures and learn about those who painted them.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Books Ltd (2 Oct 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0744561655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0744561654
  • Product Dimensions: 30.2 x 26 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,154,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Anthony has won many prizes for his work, including the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2000, for his services to children's literature - the first British illustrator to win the prize since 1956. He is the present Children's Laureate.

Product Description


"* "Each painterly pastiche is an absorbing showcase of surreal twists and awesome skill. An inspired and unique way of introducing children to the history of art." The Independent * "A richly rewarding read to be enjoyed at many levels." Junior Education Book of the Month" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Hugely entertaining and informative – a unique art history lesson given by internationally acclaimed children’s book illustrator. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Humorous Chimp-Painting Transformations! 28 July 2004
If a thousand monkeys sat at a thousand typewriters, could they ever recreate Shakespeare? That's the obvious premise for this book. This surface joke contains a more serious purpose, to encourage you to look more closely and think more about an artist's purpose and effects. After the laughter settles down, there's a wonderful opportunity to study these cartoons for their fine-art roots, and to learn about great paintings. I have seen no finer book for introducing children to paintings. Adults who would like to extend beyond a simple understanding of some important paintings will find this book rewarding as well.
Willy is a chimp and appears to have visited many of the world's great art museums, because he knows their contents very well. The book is a series of chimp-based paintings. One or more chimps are in each image, often simply replacing where a human model would have been placed. That creates the first level of humor.
At the second level of humor, each image is also based on a famous painting. For example, the chimp painting of The Kind Women is based on The Gleaners by Millet.
At the third level of humor, the painting is further transformed by changing the sequence a little. For example, The Kind Women has the chimp women actually painting in the foreground with brushes rather than picking up the loose grains.
At the fourth level of humor, the works are renamed and subtitled. For example, The Kind Women (instead of The Gleaners) has a subtitle "I had been getting a bit bored with painting all that grass." This is based on the idea of the women in the painting helping Willy finish the painting.
At the fifth level of humor, each work also has one or more fragments of other paintings juxtaposed onto the composition of the primary transformation.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anthony Browne is a Genius! 2 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This book is amazing. The pictures are superb, using the character 'Willy' that appears in many of Browne's books. For children it gives a good insight into many famous and not so famous works of art, in a fun way. The pull out at the back of the book tells children about the real works of art and then they can compare the originals to Anthony's works! As a lover of art and a great admirer of Anthony Browne's work I would recommend this book. Enjoy!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars art for the sake of art 2 April 2001
A wonderful look at the way artists work. A celebration of the worlds greatest pieces of art in the form of a simple picturebook. A great way to introduce such works to a child and just as great for adults to enjoy. As always Browne's pictures never fail to amaze and there is always more to see than can ever been seen in one reading. A book that brings added life to the phrase "pictures say more than words". Anthony Browne has done it again!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Clever, subtle, fun, educational 17 Jun 2014
Anthony Browne promotes his popular chimp Willy to the role of artist in this book, to recreate old masters. Only Willy adds his own simian twist to each picture, having great fun along the way. The Mona Lisa has a toy monkey to cuddle, for example, and the Tower of Babel is presented as a giant sandcastle, painted by Willy. While the cheeky monkey's antics will make children and adults smile, the simple story will also start to familiarise young children with great art and give them a feeling of ownership - a super starting point for any young artist's education. I especially love the last page, which offers a surprising revelation - but I won't spoilt it for you. Definitely one to keep.
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