Cultured Donuts: Take a Bite Out of Art History

Flowerpot. Oct. 2022. 52p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781486718719.
Gr 3-5–This enticing visual representation of the lives and work of famous artists opens with a table of contents that reads like a donut shop menu. Each donut represents the artistic style of a famous visual artist, incorporating basic details of the artist’s life and career. Every vignette and corresponding donut illustration includes a “Delicious Detail” about the artists and their work. Tyler’s artwork is incredible, combining her knowledge of fellow artists’ styles, her lush and detailed technique, and her humorous repetitive use of an illustrated pink frosted donut with colorful sprinkles. Readers will delight in the visuals while learning age-appropriate information about the artists, who represent a variety of eras; female artists include Mary Cassatt, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Tyler herself. She offers an encouraging letter to readers, a glossary, and technique suggestions for mimicking the artists featured in the book. Although the visual art is exceptional, the text lacks the excitement of the visuals, and often reads like the homework assignment of a high school student.
VERDICT Despite a lackluster text, this is an eye-catching nonfiction addition to school and public library collections.

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