Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday . It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because Ms. Hill reminded me of this book when she commented that “Naughty Bus” (a picture book I reviewed a couple of weeks ago) reminded her of the “I Spy” books. I also saw that some people in other posts, have commented that they like books that talk about art. This book does both!
By Judith Cressy
40 pages ages 6+
Published by Harry N. Abrams on November 1, 2002
Theme/Topic – Art and Imagination
Opening and Synopsis – “The next time you go to a museum, play the “Can You Find It?” game. You’ll need a partner. Together, stand in front of a painting. One of you should find the details and say, “I see a man who looks like a rock,” and the other should look for the man who looks like a rock -or whatever detail it is – until it’s found.”
Kids can learn to look at and think about art by playing an “I Spy” game. For example the picture on the front of the book is “View of San Francisco, Number 2” by Peter Saul. You are supposed to find 6 ships, 3 palm trees, 3 bridges, 1 wiggly road, 1 tunnel, 3 pagodas, 1 doughnut-shaped building and the #76 twice in the picture. There are paintings from the 15th century to modern times, paintings of all styles and from all over the world in the book.
Why I liked this book – This book is a really different kind of “I Spy” book. I really thought the art work was fascinating. Some of the “Can You Find It” challenges were…well, challenging. I think it is a good introduction to art for kids. It makes you notice things in the paintings you may not have. My favorite painting in the book is a portrait of Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales and Sir John Harington. It was painted by Robert Peake sometime in the late 1500’s. I spy two hats. Do you?
Activities and Resources – Take your kids to an art museum and play “I Spy”! My parents actually do this with me and my sister and it’s a lot of fun. It even keeps my little sister’s attention. If you can’t get to an art museum you can look up paintings at an art museum on their website. You can take online tours of the National Gallery of Art HERE.
To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!