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Art and Design enables children to find new ways of expressing themselves and understanding the world. The self-expression and the creativity required for the creative arts are what make us distinctively human. Here is a selection of books on art or featuring artists we love.
October 2020 Debut of the Month | What a roar-some romp this is! With its read-along rhymes, fun flaps to lift and energetic animals, toddlers will adore grrr-ing, snapping, ooo-ing, hissing and ROARING their way through this jamboree of jungle dwellers. It’s a joy to read aloud, ideally with exuberant accompaniment from little animal lovers. The rhythmic, rhyming text invites readers to engage with larger-than-life animals in their natural habitats - a tiger hiding in tall bamboo, a crocodile lurking in a lilypond, a snake slithering through leaves, a monkey curled in a tree, a lion prowling a plain - while sharing information about their physical characteristics and - of course - the sounds they make. It’s a beautiful book to behold, too - Katerina Kerouli’s style is both bold and understated. Her palette has an elegant mid-century feel, and her animals are oh-so chicly expressive.
There are lots of reasons for getting yourself a copy of this lively, charming picture book! Not only is it a bright, fun way to tell children about different animals, it’s also a bright, fun way to get children moving, stretching and enjoying themselves. Pages of information about animals, from flamingos to chimpanzees, are matched by illustrated encouragements to copy their movements – stretch out your wings like a flamingo, scuttle sideways like a crab, wiggle your bottom like a bee! The text is great for reading aloud with a bouncy rhythm and the pictures are just as full of life. This is guaranteed to get everyone jumping up and joining in!
The brilliant picture book artist Marion Deuchars passes on painting and drawing tips in this inspiring how-to book and makes it easy and fun to create your own crowd of colourful animals from greyhounds to giraffes. Techniques include collage and print alongside regular sketching and painting, but most fun probably are her tips for hand and finger painting – you can make so many different, characterful animals out of simple fingerprints by copying her examples, though the blow-painting pages are just as tempting. This will bring out the inner artist in anyone and lead to hours of creative fun.
Packed with ideas, tips and starting points, this activity book is guaranteed to spark inventiveness and the creation of art. Marion Deuchars takes readers through a variety of different techniques, from block and string printing to how to create optical patterns, mazes and mosaics, and much more. Her instructions are easy to follow and her enthusiasm is contagious. If you want to paint like Mondrian, or design papertile patterns like a master, this is the place to start. A really effective and enjoyable how-to book.
This Might Get Messy | Get a copy of this book if your kids think all artists live in cities, or that art has to be made by a certain type of person only and out of paint. Because it tells them loud and clear that artists are anywhere and anyone, and that art most often grows out of MESS! By this point, they’ll already understand that we can all be artists and the book goes on to deliver some invaluable advice about how to see off you your inner critic: make stuff, it says, and enjoy yourself while you’re at it. It concludes with a list of the jobs grown up artists can do, and a final page suggests lots of fun, inspiring ideas for everyday art projects. A bright, lively way to encourage any young artists in your circle.
There are thrills galore in this stylish lift-the-flap book. Each page features a different creature – fish, bat, spider snake – and each looks pretty innocuous until you pull open the elongated flap then, good heavens, what horrors are revealed! The fish is no guppy, but a piranha with a gaping mouthful of sharp teeth (and a smaller fish about to be eaten)! Pull up the flap for the octopus and discover what’s inside – it’s not a pretty sight! Each flap reveals something more gruesome and revolting than before until the final image of a pumpkin, which turns out to be concealing some very creepy surprises. Young children will revel in these opportunities to be shocked and disgusted, and will shriek with glee at each new ghastliness revealed. The illustrations and bold colours are very striking and add just the right amount of humour to the horror. Nasty but nice!
A World of Houses and Habitats | Learn how humans have built dwellings to suit all kinds of habitats. Adapting themselves to all kinds of landscapes and climates, over the centuries humans have used their architectural ingeniousness to build amazing dwellings: find them here, from houses on stilts and igloos to tree houses and skyscrapers. Fully illustrated with clear, engaging artwork and intelligent, simple and original text presented in a clean, appealing design.
I am becoming very fond of Justine Avery's eclectic collection of books. She has the ability to consider issues relevant to children and young people that many adults would fail to recognise. This bright and colourful little book almost acts as a little aide-memoire reminding us that when we encounter problems, we need to trust in our abilities, thoughts and ideas and 'think outside the box'. The artwork is attractive and feels new and fresh and the text is professionally constructed. A delightful addition to an already pleasing series. Val Rowe, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
The viral phenomenon #DrawWithRob is now a brand-new activity book for you to draw with Rob at home! As seen everywhere on YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, TV, and more, from the creative genius and bestselling author Rob Biddulph! At home? Wondering what to do? Join thousands of children around the world and #DrawWithRob – staying at home has never been so much fun! DRAW WITH ROB is now an incredible activity book for every family to share, so join Rob and learn to draw your favourite characters – from Penguin Blue to a very Hot Dog, and many more! The bestselling and award-winning author/illustrator Rob Biddulph is the genius behind the phenomenal, viral sensation that is DRAW WITH ROB – bringing joy to families everywhere with his easy to follow instructions and warm-hearted humour. So whether you’re in home education, home-schooling, learning to draw or just having fun, let Rob show you that anyone can learn to #DrawWithRob! *WITH PERFORATED PAGES SO YOU CAN EASILY TEAR OUT AND DISPLAY YOUR ART!* Rob’s original hit videos are also available at www.robbiddulph.com, and on Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, with Rob appearing on TV to talk about them too. Perfect stay-at-home fun for boys, girls, and everyone aged three to one hundred and three, and a wonderful introduction to Rob Biddulph’s bestselling picture book range – including the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize-winning Blown Away, Odd Dog Out, and many more! Available in all good bookstores and online retailers, and perfect for children who are learning to read – or just love to!
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month July 2020 | A class trip to the art gallery inspires Luna and her friends in all kinds of ways. Seeing the amazing pictures by Cezanne, Matisse, Van Gogh and many more they are transported into other worlds and given the opportunity to savour the colours and textures of some of the world’s greatest paintings. They are also encouraged to create their own pictures inspired by the range of images they see and the stories they tell. Luna loves the art - and loves sharing it with her mum who is a helper on the trip. But for some, the experience is more challenging. Can Luna help Finn engage with what he sees and find a way of expressing his feelings? She can and the day ends happily for all. Readers will love this introduction to art as enjoyed by Luna and her classmates.
The new book by the author of the Sunday Times bestseller, Millie Marotta's Animal Kingdom. Enter Millie's wonderful world of treetop treasures and discover the birds nesting and flying high up in the treetops, and the myriad creatures found among the branches. The enchanting illustrations to colour in range from birds such Major Mitchell's cockatoo and rose robins, to the magnolia warbler, silver-eared mesia and whiskered treeswift. As well as the beautiful birds of the world, Millie's intricate designs show the more unusual creatures residing in the treetops, such as the Amazonian milk frog, the sugar glider or the tree-kangaroo. Millie's inimitable style is treasured by thousands around the world and in this new, exciting book there are all sorts of creatures and fauna waiting to be coloured in, from tiny insects to winged beasts and scaled reptiles to buds and blossoms. The world's rainforests, woodlands and thickets are teeming with life and this book guarantees hours of relaxation and colouring fun.
What is art? How does art tell stories? Where do artists get their ideas from? Open this fascinating book to discover explosive ideas, wild colours, unexpected views and amazing works of art by world-famous artists. Includes Usborne Quicklinks to specially selected websites where you can take a virtual tour of a gallery, look at famous paintings up close and much more. Published in association with The National Gallery, London.
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2021 | This gorgeous gift book will take you on a world adventure via the world's greatest rivers. The Yangtze tells of dragons and dolphins, while the Rhine whispers about castles and Frankenstein. Explore pyramids, tombs and temples by the Nile, and search for lost cities and gold alongside the Amazon. And follow the Mississippi to hear of historic battles and dinosaurs.
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2021 | We Are Artists celebrates the life and work of 15 female artists from around the globe and the distinctive mark they made on the art world and beyond. Through their personal stories, readers will come to know the circles and art movements each artist worked in, and the influence they exerted on both the art world and society as a whole.
November 2019 Book of the Month | Prepare to explore ten of the most haunted places on Earth in this striking book, and then to learn their secrets ingeniously with the help of coloured lenses. With the naked eye, the huge colour illustrations are just a jumble of lines; enticing, but baffling. View the same pages through one of three different coloured lenses, and suddenly a whole new vista springs into life. The red lens shows the people who inhabited these special places (ranging from Bran Castle, Romania to San Juan Chamula Cemetery, Mexico), the green lens shows us the place and its surroundings in detail, while best of all the blue lens magics up the ghostly and supernatural beings that haunt it. Short, sharp snippets of information accompanying vignettes on the following page tell us more about our discoveries. It’s a treat to explore, deliciously spooky and the illustrations are super stylish.
The third book from highly talented newcomer Fifi Kuo, this is an irresistible tribute to the joy of drawing. On each page a group of lively little boys and girls have fun with different types of illustration – finger painting, using felt tips and paints, making collages, even sewing. The message is clear – everyone can draw, creativity and self-expression are for us all, and it’s fun. The compositions are different on every page and there are separate little stories to follow throughout. A joyful read certain to inspire creativity.
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