Tag Archives: painting

#blogbookaday: Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion

24 Jan

33891271.jpgSummary:  “This nonfiction picture book explores art, desperation, and one man’s incredible idea for saving ships from German torpedoes in World War I. Dazzle camouflage transformed ordinary British and American ships into eye-popping masterpieces.” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: I had never heard about these ships during World War I, ships that had bold designs painted on them to camouflage them and prevent them from being torpedoed by German U-boats. I really enjoyed how Chris was able to bring a fairly difficult topic with lots of information into a picture book accessible to young children. I also loved the illustrations and how they felt East Asian in the way the waves moved on the page and felt art deco in the style and colors chosen. This is a great story to share with middle grade students when talking about World War I and the stories you don’t always get to hear in textbooks.

Personal Reaction: I personally loved learning how many women were a part of this movement during a time that women were mainly housewives and stay-at-home moms. I really liked the format of this book, very basic explanation about what dazzle ships were and how they were created. More importantly, I really liked the fact that even though there is no research as to how effective this process was, the author points out the importance of thinking outside the box.

Title: Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion
Author: Chris Barton
Illustrator: Victo Ngai
Publisher: Millbrook Press
Publication Date: September 1, 2017

#blogbookaday (1)This is a new idea I’m trying on my blog this year that was inspired by @donalynbooks and @heisereads – to provide a brief review of a picture book every day of 2018. You’ll get a brief summary of the story, a review of the content, illustrations and theme, my personal reaction to the book and all the pertinent publication information! Enjoy!


Book Review: The Painting

9 Aug

33674139The Painting by Charis Cotter is a story of mystery and intrigue, but at its heart its the story of loss and relationships among family. Annie loves painting, drawing and art and is nothing at all like her parents who just can’t seem to understand their daughter. But, when Annie’s mother slips into a coma following a car accident, can Annie help save her?

Annie finds a painting of a lighthouse in the attic and with her artistic eye, is drawn to it right away, but when she falls through the painting and meets young Claire she gets more than she bargained for. Soon she is looking for other paintings by the mysterious Maisie King in order to help Claire understand her own mother, while at the same time trying to understand how Claire’s story is part of her own family’s history and what she can do to help her mother emerge from her coma.

I had a little difficulty following the storyline as each girl had a similar middle grade voice that made it difficult to differeniate, but I loved the mysterious travel through the paintings and really enjoyed how the story came together at the end as Annie learned more about her own family and the how the power of forgiveness saved her mother’s life. I don’t want to give anything away, but if you have a child in your life that likes a little suspense, mystery and is a little bit of an introvert and/or artist – this is the book for them!

Twitter Booktalk (140 characters or less): Annie’s mother never talks about her childhood & when she falls into a coma, it’s up to Annie’s mysterious travel into paintings to save her

Title: The Painting
Author: Charis Cotter
Publisher: Tundra Books
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
Page Number: 288 pgs.

I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More!

23 Apr

i-aint-gonna-paint-no-moreI Ain’t Gonna Paint No More written by Karen Beaumont and illustrated David Catrow is such a fun story to share with little kids and even early elementary age children because the whole story can be sung or read and has great rhymes throughout it.

The story is about a little kid who goes a little overboard with the paints and ends up painting the whole room.  After a bath and the mother hiding the paints in a closet, the little kid climbs to the top shel fan dbegins painting their whole body!  Each body part has a rhyme in the song making it a great game to guess what is coming next.  David Catrow is such a great illustrator using almost pencil sketches and then bright washes of color to show the paint.

As I said, this makes a great read aloud and can be used to explain body parts as well!  Definitely a story you have to check out if your kids (or you) enjoy fingerpainting, painting in the tub, or being creative in any form!

Title: I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More!
Author: Karen Beaumont
Illustrator: David Catrow
Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books
Publication Date: 2005

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