4 out of 4 stars
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Monet and the Waterlily Friends, by Judiee Lee, is a book intended for an audience of young children. It is specifically designed to be a learning book, as you may have guessed by the cover design and title. The author, Judiee Lee, taught pre-k art for a number of years, and it shows in the way this book is written and presented to readers. Her background as an author and illustrator made this book a gorgeous guide to young artists everywhere.
Created as an art class guide to Monet’s work, this book features three parts. The first section is intended for children who have not learned how to read yet. It is accompanied by illustrations that tell the story to them. I loved how this section was named “Story Time.” It set the mood for the book and will appeal immensely to younger children.
The next section is art history that focuses on the classical artist Claude Monet, his art style, and works, providing the necessary background and understanding of where art comes from and how it is made.
The last section is dedicated to projects and activities in which children may take part. Whether they are in a class of twenty kids or doing home school as a class of one child at home, these activities will teach them about art while experiencing the joy and fun of creating.
The cover of this book captures the creative essence of art done by Claude Monet. Colorful and bright, its vibrant colors draw the eye instantly and make readers want to see more. It is perfect for a book destined to grace classroom shelves in schools and home school environments.
The illustrations in this book are so loyal to art. One of the first shows a figure standing in front of a blank canvas. The reader can only imagine the ideas that will come, what could happen on that canvas. As the illustrations progress in this section, they show how difficult it can be to decide what to paint or draw. Still, it also guides children in finding ideas from their surroundings and nature, with wonderfully simple animations that have a light and creative feel. This simplicity is what I liked most about this book.
The character development was excellent in this guide. For such a short book, young readers get a feel for Claude Monet’s desires and hopes. They come away with an understanding of how the artist thinks and feels, and how they sometimes have difficulty fitting in with popular styles of the time in which they live.
At the beginning of the book, I found it touching to see the snippets and notes from children thanking the author/artist for coming to their school to teach them art. It shows that she has a way with children and knows how to make learning about art fun.
I liked that the book instructs by showing and doing with the children. This participation is essential for kids to achieve the full experience of the creative project. This aspect will appeal to children who enjoy art class, drawing, painting, or learning about art. It is suitable for the very young who cannot read yet, but also just as useful for older children to enjoy.
I couldn’t find anything at all to dislike about this book. It is an excellent took for learning about art, as well as for teaching art. It is exceptionally edited. I found no errors. For these reasons, I am rating it with 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to teachers who wish for a classroom tool to help teach art in a fun and straightforward way. I also recommend it to young new artists!
Monet and the Waterlily Friends
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