Walker Books (2012)
Reviewed by Elinor Couper
A beautiful non-fiction book which aims to inspire children to think about art made from recycled material.
The introduction is a timeline of each different style of work done in the twentieth century. Each double page introduces one artist, and after a history of the times, shows one of his or her works which reflects the idea of using “found” objects. Picasso is the first represented. A brief outline of his life and times follows, then an image of a painting done in 1913 is shown, briefly discussed then set in its time. Each double page has an outline of an activity which could be done in the classroom, emulating the work by that artist. For people wanting more information there are references at the back of the book to other books and websites.
The whole is rounded off with a glossary, biographical notes about each of the artists and a detailed index. This is a wonderful teaching tool for primary and middle school classrooms. This handbook introduces students to various art styles of the twentieth century and encourages them to try them for themselves. Teachers will find lots of information to share with their classes as well as hints about how to encourage their students to try their hand at the styles shown. The book is presented as a scrapbook with torn paper, newspaper scraps and sellotape.