Book LookCalendarGames

Book Reviews Elsewhere  (fresh daily from the Web)

 Movie Reviews Elsewhere  (fresh daily from the Web)

'The Shape Game' and

'More Than Meets the Eye'     Send a link to a friend

[JULY 21, 2004]  "The Shape Game," written and illustrated by Anthony Browne, Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2003, 24 pages, ages 5-8

"More Than Meets the Eye: Seeing Art With All Five Senses," by Bob Raczka, Millbrook Press, 2003, 31 pages, kindergarten to grade 4

Reviews by Louella Moreland

Are you a person who thinks books about visual art are too much like schoolwork? Are you looking for a change of pace this summer? If so, you might want to check out "The Shape Game," by Anthony Browne, and "More Than Meets the Eye: Seeing Art With All Five Senses," by Bob Raczka. Both of these new books use representations of actual art masterpieces but are definitely not of the textbook category!

Browne's book tells the story of a family's trip to an art museum. Mom is the one who chooses to go as a birthday trip, while the father and two sons are along just to make Mom happy -- at least in the beginning. The father is obviously not happy about missing the game on TV but tries to make the most of the trip by telling (very unfunny) jokes.

Although the trip starts out a little rocky for the males of the family, Mom begins asking them questions about the art they see. By looking closely for clues in the paintings, they begin to bring life to scenes, even using their own lives to make stories to fit what they are seeing.

At a visit to the gift shop the family purchases a book with blank pages and two colored markers. They use these to play a shape game on the train ride home. In the last lines, the author tells us, "And, in a way, I've been playing the shape game ever since…"


[to top of second column in this article]

Bob Raczka, an Illinois native and graduate of the University of Illinois, uses our five senses to explore visual art. How can you taste or hear a painting? Look closely, he advises. How can you smell a painting? Well, that pig sure looks real and many children of central Illinois are very familiar with the smell of pigs! Tasting, hearing, smelling, feeling and seeing are all covered by wonderful examples of art from various periods in history. He even includes a listing at the end of the book.

The reader can learn more about artists who created each painting, including when they lived, their nationality and what type of painting they specialize(d) in producing. From Milton Avery to James Wyeth, the listing reads almost like an alphabet of painters! From Leonardo da Vinci's creations in the late 15th and early 16th century to modernistic Victor Vasarely, this book is a delight to all five of the reader's senses!

The Lincoln Public Library offers many types of books on fine arts for anyone who wants to know more about art, artists, processes or just for fun! Come check them out at 725 Pekin St.!

[Louella Moreland, youth services librarian,
Lincoln Public Library District]

Florist & Delivery

100 E. Cook St., Mt Pulaski

(217) 792-3868

click here to order flowers
Tuesday - Friday 9am -4pm, Sat  9am - 12
closed Sunday & Monday

Rent for 2 nights,
get the third night
(Does Not Include Friday or Saturday)
Lincoln Inn
at Lincoln Parkway (Old Rt 66)
Lincoln, IL

Baker & Son Tree Service

Tree Trimming & Removal
Excellent Service & Cleanup
Free Estimates - Fully Insured

Phone: (217) 735-5066
Cell...: (217) 306-4397


Previous book reviews

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor