Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oooh! Picasso

Mil Niepold and Jeanyves Verdu

Tricycle Press

Picasso is easily one of the top ranked artists in the world today, as measured by the sale of his works. Another popularity measure - more of his paintings have been stolen than those by any other artist. Get your kids in on the Picasso fun (legally) with this fascinating book created at their level.

What is this? That's the question asked of the readers for five of Picasso's sculptures. The trick is, we are only shown a tiny piece of the puzzle, greatly enlarged for detail, which makes it difficult to identify. Use this limited view to encourage your children to visualize the possibilities. A bit more is revealed with the turn of each page, until we see the piece in its entirety, accompanied with the exclamation "Oooh! I am a ..." Just how close or wild were your guesses?

The effect of this presentation style is that we take a much closer look at each piece and are more likely to appreciate the details and composition. Viewing the sculptures as parts of a whole allows the readers to explore the works of a master artist by putting using their own imaginations to work. It's amazing what you can see when you want to. Even more amazing are the explanations that children will produce.

The simple text is brief, but poetic. I am water falling from on high. I am a tin moon hooked to the night sky. Awash in color, even the backgrounds are visually stimulating. The pages begin with bright yellow, deepening in hue to orange and then bright red to match the cover.

Overall, this is such a decidedly cool, unusual book. It serves as a wonderful introduction to Picasso for our children, and allows us all a closer look at some of his famous works.

Sculptures featured: Guitar, The Little Girl Jumping Rope, Baboon and Young, Guitar (a second one) and Bull's Head.

Created by the same team: Oooh! Matisse


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