Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Prestel Publishing's new Fall children's books are varied, stoking imagination, and educational [Review & Giveaway USA]

How to Spot an Artist by Danielle Krysa 

Ages 5+
ISBN: 9783791374406
My thoughts:  This is such a cautionary story for youngsters. Personally, I know of two individuals whose artistic talent was nipped in the bud by art teachers who told them they couldn't "draw" or "paint." This is devastating to a child especially in the pre-teen and teen years. But little one's, too, need confirmation that their "art" is good. 

Eventally, they will determine themselves if they are truly a gifted artist, but their enthusiastic endeavors in any art-form should not be squelched. 

This is a delightful book full of crazy art and mixed media as well as a jumble of text fonts and the book conveys in an enthusiatically encouraging manner how an artist can be spotted. By a mess. By lots of stuff. By glue. By paints. By paper, etc. etc.

A delightful book that needs to be read by parents, teachers, and kids of all ages.

About the book: This is a vividly illustrated, funny, and endlessly encouraging picture book “about being an artist, even when someone tells you not to be." 

With over 200,000 Instagram followers, Danielle Krysa has helped a lot of people overcome the fear that they "aren't creative," and in How to Spot an Aritist, Krysa wants to reach readers as kids before their inner critics arrived on the scene, using her characteristic playfulness, lively illustrations, and humor to help kids overcome negativity about their artistic endeavors--and to help them redefine what being an artist means. Every page delivers encouragement to the kid who thinks artists all live in cities, or that art has to look like something familiar, or that painting and drawing are the only way to make art. In a world that drastically undervalues creative freedom, Krysa's whimsical paintings and collages joyfully proclaim that art is essential and that artists are everywhere. Additionally, a page at the back of the book includes ideas for art projects--because who wants fewer art projects? Nobody!

The House of Happy Spirits by Geraldine Elschner & illustrated by Lucie Vandevelde

Ages 4+
ISBN: 9783791374543

My thoughts: Since I don't "do Halloween" I almost skipped this book because I thought it might be halloween themed. While a bit on the weird side artistcally with its blast of color and design that sometimes tires the eyes, it is not a halloween book. While titled "The House of Happy Spirits," I think the happy spirits part is a conclusion because of the house's magical, whimsical quality.

The story is about a neighborhood that undergoes change and the fear is that a old beloved huge tree will fall prey to construction.

Surprisingly, the tree makes it completely whole and has a lot of other plant life to keep it company.

An interesting story. A bit of architectural history. Distinctly European in book style. A fun read.

About the book: The pages are filled with color-saturated illustrations that echo Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser's bold style, introducing young readers to the idea of environmentally conscious and playful architecture. 

When construction starts on a new building in Lea's neighborhood, she fears that her favorite tree will be chopped down. For days she watches anxiously as the tree is covered up and surrounded by bricks. Finally, she learns that the tree has been spared and made the centerpiece of a fantastic new building, where it will live a long and healthy life. Lucie Vandevelde's joyful drawings convey a kid's-eye view of city life, complete with people, pets, automobiles, and machinery. As the new building emerges, readers will come to learn about some of Hundertwasser's celebrated and offbeat principles--such as the rights of tenants to paint the walls outside of their windows, that trees should be given their own rooms, and that "straight lines lead to the downfall of humanity." A brief biography of Hundertwasser at the end of the book fills readers in on the work of this pioneering artist whose ideas were once radical but are now integrated into many architectural concepts.

Since this is such an unusual architectural concept upon which this picture book story is based, I thought it would be interesting to see real pictures of the real Hundertwasser Haus.

The Little Dancer by Geraldine Elschner and illustrated by Olivier Desvaux 

Ages 4+
ISBN: 9783791374499
My thoughts:   The artist Edgar Degas had a fascination for ballerinas and therefore painted a large number pieces depicting them, individually or in groups. This children's book, "The Little Dancer," is based upon the Degas sculpture "Little Dancer." 

The story is set in Paris in late 1800's, and the child and her mother enter Paris in a wagon. The girl  auditions for the ballet group, and if accepted, she will be paid a daily amount and her mother will be given a job as a laundress. A hard life for both the child and the mother, but it is to advance the little ballerina in her art and also a means of survival for both of them.

Her feet are sore and bruised. She is tired.  But this is her life.

About the book: One of Degas's most celebrated works comes to life in this delightful book - vibrantly illustrated story of the young ballerina who inspired the artist. 

This book tells the fictional story of a young girl who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer. Jeanne auditions at the Opera Garnier and moves with her mother, a laundress, to Montmartre where life becomes consumed by rehearsals and classes. One day she meets Mr. D, an artist who asks Jeanne to be his model. As Mr. D works on his sculpture, Jeanne prepares tirelessly for an important performance. The book culminates with Jeanne triumphing at the Opera--and Mr. D completing his sculpture with her help. Olivier Desvaux's gorgeous illustrations, which recall Degas paintings, bring readers into Jeanne's world--the studio where she spends her days, the tiny apartment where she sleeps with her mother, and Mr. D's atelier, where he preserves her story forever. Readers will learn about the life of a young dancer in 19th-century Paris, and at the end of the book they will learn even more about one Degas's most intriguing works: Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, the only sculpture he exhibited in his lifetime, particularly beloved for capturing the essence of a ballerina.

This Thing Called Life by Christian Borstlap

Ages 5+
ISBN: 9783791374437
My thoughts: This is quite an unusual book for a young child - both artistically and verbally. It philosophically and in understandable terms presents the connectivity of all life. From the most minute to the most giagantic, life is connected.

Each bit of life is important individually and as a whole.

This is not a religious or faith-based work though it doesn mention Creation ... "A medley of stardust, gases, ice meteors, sulight, and many other things we don't understand created... life..."

So the beginning of life is open to interpretation in this book which makes it acceptable to many. 

The text simplistically speaks to what life is about.... "reproducing, perceiving, breathing, moving, feeling, giving, taking, surviving..." 

So the reader gets to think about more than the biological aspect of life and living. And in thinking about these aspects, discovers the connection between all aspects of life and living.

An interesting book that can potentially open many doors of discussion between child and adult.

About the book:  A scarcely worded book that shows the many shapes and forms life takes all around us, from the smallest specks of life to the largest creatures.

What is life? It's constantly moving, growing, reproducing, and dying. It's happening now, all the time, and it's everywhere around us. From little helicopter seed pods that float through the air to blue whales in the ocean, the world is filled with all different types of odd and familiar kinds of life. This whimsical picture book helps young readers see the connections between all living things. Author and illustrator Christian Borstlap's furry, feathery, smooth, and spiky creatures crawl, eat, growl, fly, and interact with one another. While most of his creations are imaginary animals, they all depict real things that organisms must do to survive and thrive. Bold and quirky illustrations tug at kids' imaginations and help demonstrate complex concepts that can be hard to put into words. The book leaves lots of room for discussion and for new discoveries with each reading.

Begins September 8
Ends October 4 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Prize is provided and sent directly to the winner by publicist or publisher.

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