ABCs of Art

Sky Pony. Sept. 2019. 64p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781510749382.
PreS-Gr 1–In this early introduction to art, a letter of the alphabet begins a word that appears as or suggests a detail in a master painting. Each page features a letter-word pair, along with a painting that highlights the word and a rhyming couplet whose second line includes the name of the painter. Each painting is labeled with its title, artist, and year of creation. A question on each page either invites readers to examine the painting closely or to think critically. The paintings include works from artists including Leonardo da Vinci, Johannes Vermeer, and the major French impressionists and post-impressionists; most were produced between the 18th and the 20th centuries. Only one (a copy of an ancient Egyptian wall painting done by a female British archaeologist) represents non-Western, nonwhite culture; besides the former, only one woman’s (Mary Cassatt) art appears. The rhymes are mostly clunky and don’t scan or read well. Questions posed to readers sometimes miss the mark, as they don’t always get at the most interesting or important details in the paintings. Moreover, contrary to accepted early-learning strategies, the targeted word on each page is presented in all caps. Strangely, in the back matter, where readers are informed of the paintings’ locations around the world, the targeted words are correctly shown printed in the capital and lower-case letters.
VERDICT Attractive but unessential. Recommended for larger public collections.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing