Snail Trail In Search of a Modern Masterpiece by Jo Saxton

Snail Trail In Search of a Modern Masterpiece

Written by Jo Saxton

3+ readers   Art and Artists   5+ readers   
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Selected by our Editorial Experts

One of our Books of the Year 2013 Snail Trail introduces very young children to the magical world of modern art using delightful rhyming text. Written by an art historian, art concepts are introduced in an accessible and appealing way using the works of modern artists including Pollock, Matisse and Dali.


Snail Trail In Search of a Modern Masterpiece by Jo Saxton

A colourful snail asks you to help him look for his favourite painting. Follow his silver trail through a selection of famous modern paintings by an exciting range of modern artists including Pollock, Rothko, Mondrian, Dali, Picasso and Matisse in search of a piece of art that represents him.

Paintings reproduced in the book:

Pablo Picasso Maya in a Sailor Suit, 1938.

Jackson Pollock Number 20, 1949.

Mark Rothko White Centre, 1950.

Salvador Dali The Persistence of Memory, 1931.

Ben Nicholson 1940-42 (two forms).

Henri Matisse The Snail, 1953,

Henri Matisse Goldfish (Red Fish), 1911


I loved Snail Trail a delightful book about Matisse's Snail. In simple rhyming text you follow its trail as it takes you through the book, introducing modern artists before finally finding its own portrait. -- Sue Steel, Simply Books Bookseller

There have been lots of books which introduce modern art to young children of late but few have been as engaging as Snail Trail. This unpretentious book offers an intriguing primer to modern masterpieces. Rhyming text narrates an affable and inquisitive snail as he searches through the vaults of art history for a portrait of himself. -- Lindsey Stainer, Blackwell's Bookseller

An endearing way to introduce young children to modern art. Nursery World

A light hearted, fun filled tale of a snail searching for his very own 'snail portrait'. As the reader follows his silvery trail they come across famous works of art by Dali, Matisse and Picasso. Told through rhyming couplets it is as lovely to read as to listen to. Confident readers will find the rhyme an aid if attempting to read this for themselves. You can tell the author is well tuned to young children. The text cleverly mixes fiction with fact and is a very natural way to introduce young children to modern art. This is also a lovely story to promote inclusion in an early years setting. Early Years Educator

A rare book, introducing modern art to the very young. Carousel

One of the finest, liveliest art books for the very young that I have encountered and deserves a place in the nursery or reception classroom or on bookshelves at home. School Librarian

Produced to a simple formula, well designed and easy to follow, this book gives us the visual space to look at and enjoy each painting. Books for Keeps

About the Author

JO SAXTON fell in love with great paintings when she first went to the National Gallery at the age of 12. Since then, she has become a professional art historian, gaining a Ph.D. in 17th-century Dutch painting and drawing, and is an expert on art and education for school-age children. Jo has worked for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Cambridge University, inner-city state schools and academies, and has also advised government.

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Book Info


32 pages
Interest Age: From 3


Jo Saxton
More books by Jo Saxton


Frances Lincoln Childrens Books an imprint of Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd

Publication date

2nd May 2013




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