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Picture This!: A Kids' Guide to the National Gallery (National Gallery Paul Thurlby) Hardcover – 13 Jul 2017
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...the perfect gift-shop purchase and a great investment for a family visit to the Gallery. Children are introduced to famous works by painters such as Rembrandt, Rubens, Velázquez, Degas and others through beautiful reproductions as well as facts, puzzles, activities and did-you-knows inspired by the artworks. (The School Run)
You don't need to be planning a visit to the National Gallery to enjoy and learn from this book, but if you are going, then it will be marvellous to enjoy the book beforehand so you and your child can benefit fully; it's great for teachers planning class trips too (and the practical spiral binding makes it an ideal companion). (Parents in Touch)
...the questions it poses are pertinent and thoughtful. (Minerva Reads)
Based on works found in the National Gallery, Paul Thurlby lends his brilliant retro illustrations to this interactive book, sure to promote a life-long love of art. (Little London)
the perfect gift-shop purchase and a great investement for a family visit to the Gallery. (The School Run)
Featuring beautiful reproductions, fascinating facts and behind-the-scenes tours, as well as games and activities inspired by the art, young readers will be encouraged to find out more and get creative. (Parents in Touch)
A colourful and engaging introduction to The National Gallery for children aged 5 to 8.See all Product description
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🖼️ PICTURE THIS! : A KIDS' GUIDE TO THE NATIONAL GALLERY
🖼️ ILLUSTRATIONS ©PAUL THURLBY
🖼️ TEXT by MANDY ARCHER/2017
🖼️ DESIGN by IZZY LANGRIDGE & BHAVINI JOLAPARA
🖼️ HODDER CHILDREN’S BOOKS
‘Printed and bound in China’
From the back cover:
📝 ‘Come on a fascinating tour of one of the world's most-visited galleries!
Discover more about the famous paintings and the artists behind them in this guidebook.
~ Uncover iconic masterpieces and the tales behind them
~ Learn about the artists and how they worked
~ Discover hidden details and intriguing secrets
~ Then crack puzzles, solve quizzes and get arty at home!
📝 The National Gallery is a treasure trove of exciting pictures. Let’s explore!’
The current ‘Look Inside’ facility above is very useful if wishing to peruse a cross-section of this book in advance, as it is a little bit different to the norm.
In my experience, it is a natural progression from James Mayhew’s ‘Katie’ books where some younger folks I know have already learned to appreciate the art world, albeit from a slightly magical point of view.
Measuring in around 21 cm x 27 cm, the colourful, shiny, spiral bound hardback lies open obediently at whichever page you choose and , I think, at the cover price of five pounds, is very good value for money, especially at the start of the summer holidays and the weather is dire (at the time of writing).
The book begins with ‘A GUIDE TO THE GALLERY’, reminding the reader of useful facts:
📝 ‘The National Gallery is for everyone of any age.
📝 Entry is free.
📝 The Gallery’s doors are open 361 days a year and, guess what?
📝 Children are especially welcome!’
A mini timeline follows, dotted with key pictures to look out for in the following pages, and, hopefully, go off to see for real in due course.
The contents are divided into bite-size sections over 47 matte-finish pages, jam-packed with snippets of information, laid out in double-page format. Each section has a capitalised title and an opening paragraph of relevance.
The colourful layout aims to take the stuffiness out of art, with the eye being drawn to areas that also make one think outside the box, e.g. page 38, reflect on the mirror or consider the grains of sand, back on page 32. Lesser known facts, perhaps, are brushed(!) in for effect, such as ‘Van Gogh used yellow as a sign of happiness and hope,’ on page 20 or ‘Not many paintings in the Gallery still have their original frame’ (last images refer).
Aimed to appeal to all, little tasks intersperse the sections, including, general questions, mini-quizzes such as ‘True or False?’ & ‘Can you spot?’, do a colour crossword, solve a riddle...along with a bit of drawing, including a touch of colouring in for quieter moments.
At times, a magnifying glass has been required to see the smaller pictures in more detail, e.g. ‘the cheeky dog’ in ‘Grab and Go’, on page 22, but this has added to the fun, in my experience, underlining a bit more of being an ‘Art Detective’!
The inside cover page has a list of the images, with the artists, all ©The National Gallery London, unless otherwise specified.
The last two pages (including the inside cover) is the answer section to those aforementioned posers presented throughout the book.
Prior to this, there are two pages for creating your own gallery of masterpieces with a place to add your signature and truly call the collection your own.
[15 images refer]
This book is full of useful information, historical tidbits and lovely illustrations and pictures of the art in question. All in all a lovely, concise and informative book.
It is spiral bound with board covers. Inside it is attractive with information, puzzles and chances to be creative.
It contains pictures of all the art, so you don't have to travel to the gallery in London. However it might just create some pester power so your children drag you there.
When I opened the book I was disappointed. It starts with a tour of the gallery followed by a tour through time showing how styles changed. Then it goes on to how pictures are painted - all basically interesting but rather dry. The next sections deal with paintings in detail and invite the reader to join in and produce their own versions. At this point the book takes off and becomes fascinating and I can see children from seven or eight upwards being totally absorbed and involved with the process. There are quizzes and crosswords and the reader is invited to look at the paintings in detail noting content and techniques. It gets progressively more sophisticated culminating in a section on Art Detectives, but by this time I think they will have learned enough to be able to understand what is going on. It ends with a gallery of their own to paint and draw and the answers to the puzzles.
Basically, I think the book is in the wrong order. Unless the child is already keen on galleries, I think the first two chapters would not grab their attention and they would put the book down without discovering how interesting the rest of it is. Ideally, these chapters should come at the end, showing the reader where they can find all the fascinating pictures they have been playing with. By that time they would, I think, be more interested in what a gallery is.
So, if you want to interest your child in paintings, buy this book, but start them off at Chapter 3 and only let them read Chapters 1 and 2 at the end. 4.5 stars I think.
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