Wednesday, August 06, 2014
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Author and illustrator: Marta Altes
This is a story about a little boy who can neither stop seeing the art in everything, nor creating art all the time. The family cat is painted and stationed under a lamp strung with kitchenware, as installation art. The walls are scribbled over. The vegetables are shifted around his plate and arranged artistically. Colours, movement, texture, he appreciates them all. The only problem is that his mother hasn't taken to his art very enthusiastically. And so one day he decides to surprise her with a special work of art, created while she slept. Does she like it or not? I'm not telling!
It comes as no surprise that this book was written by an illustrator. Only someone with a deep love for art could have expressed it in this form. From the dripping paint title on the cover to the quirky, detailed illustrations through it all, the art work is a delight and could very well have told a tale without the accompanying words.
This book appealed to both my children in very different ways even though they're both a little too old for it. The Brat because he does indeed see beauty in everything - Look mama, that cloud looks like a T-rex chasing an apple. And the Bean because she can spend hours mucking around with paint, is keen to paint on the walls in an attempt to keep up with our murals and totally feels the pain of a child whose mother is not amused by his artistic antics.
I love that this book expands the boundaries of art for children who have only been introduced to conventional art work and pointy hills. It introduces them to installations, texture, movement. And it sets their minds free. And sometimes it helps set a grown up mind free too.
I was sent a copy of the book in return for the honest review.