Perfect Picture Book Friday – Art Museum Opposites

6 Apr

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday (PPBF). It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I think it’s a cool way to teach opposites and to get kids looking at artwork.

Art Museum Opposites

By Katy Friedland and Marla K. Shoemaker

44 pages -ages 5+

Published by Temple University Press on October 1, 2010

Theme/Topic – Art / learning opposites


Opening and Synopsis – From the inside cover and written by  Timothy Run the  CEO of the Philadelphia Museum of Art “Art museums provide endless opportunities for learning and wonder.” – “They (the authors) have selected works of art that, when paired, can help us learn about contrasts and about the meaning of opposites such as day/night, many/few, and inside/outside. Along the way, the authors invite children and adults to look more closely at these wonderful objects and marvel at the new possibilities they reveal.” 

This book teachers about opposites using art. The pages show two opposites for example –

Photo taken from

 and then it will talk about the objects and asks questions about the differences and sometimes similarities. There are also questions to make you look at the objects closer – like in the example about “Do you see the boat?” and “What sound do cows make?” It also gives credit telling what the work of art is and who made it.

Why I liked this book – I think this is a very fun way to teach about opposites. The pages are really great looking! It is also a great way to teach about art. I really like art museums and I think this is a great way to get kids excited about art. Books like this and “The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Can You Find It?” (read my PPBF post for it HERE) are two of many books that might help.

Activities and Resources – I didn’t have to look far because the authors, who are also museum educators, put a great list of activities in the back of the book! They suggest not only looking at the opposites but also finding similarities.

Another great activity they suggest is to find a picture and try to draw an opposite to it.

The authors also say to use your imagination and make up a story about one of the objects or pretend the people or animals in the paintings can talk. What would they say?

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is a totally AWESOME place! If you are in Philadelphia, you should visit it! You can visit it online HERE. You can also visit your local art museum and try to find opposites!

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog  HERE!

46 Responses to “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Art Museum Opposites”

  1. Susanna Leonard Hill April 6, 2012 at 6:16 am #

    This sounds great, Erik! I especially love the range of art and questions. It seems like a book that kids of many ages would enjoy and learn from. Thanks for sharing!


  2. myragarcesbacsal April 6, 2012 at 7:12 am #

    Hi there Erik, this sounds like a fascinating read. For months now, we’ve been toying with the idea of having an “Arts theme” in GatheringBooks. This could definitely be something we could add to our possible list of featured books. The book cover also looks nice!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks April 6, 2012 at 8:26 am #

      I think this book would make a great addition to your group of art books! The cover shows 2 different paintings by two different artists and I like the opposites shown there!


  3. Michelle Isenhoff April 6, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    This is a really cool idea! The front cover is very striking.


  4. Catherine Johnson April 6, 2012 at 8:20 am #

    Great idea to show opposites, Erik at the same time introducing different ways of living to kids. The more aware of how different things are the more choices you have yourself when the time comes. That picture of life in the city looks scary ay?


  5. Heather Newman (@HeatherNewman12) April 6, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    This one just made it to the top of my wish list! It looks like an excellent book. Thanks, Erik!


  6. julierowanzoch April 6, 2012 at 8:52 am #

    Right up my alley Erik! Can’t wait to hold it in my own hands – thanks!


  7. Kirsten Larson April 6, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    You had me with the title, Erik. We love art museums around here. In fact, we’re off to the Getty Villa tomorrow. (And I agree with you that the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a good one!)


  8. timothydavis229 April 6, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    Hi Erik. Another great review! You really make the book sound fascinating, and thank you for taking the time to photograph some of the pages. That really helped. Good for you for choosing a book that is both educational about art and a lot of fun. I really liked your examples of some of the activities that the author suggests. Thanks again!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks April 6, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

      Thank you Mr. Davis! I’m glad you liked it! I’m also glad that the two pages I put up were helpful! 😀


  9. Joanna April 6, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    What a great way to share about both art and opposites. you sure make me want to visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks April 6, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

      Thank you Miss Marple! I hope you can go sometime (maybe book a flight to Philly 😉 ?).


  10. cookiejarprincess April 6, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    I love going to the art museum here in Richmond! It’s something that my best friend and I love to do together. Last year we were very lucky to be able to attend an exhibit of Picasso. Whether you’re a fan of his art or not (which I am), it was pretty amazing to be standing in a room surrounded by his work. It literally brought tears to my eyes a few times.

    This looks like a wonderful book. I love to give books to my friend’s children for birthday and Christmas so I’ll have to keep this one in mind. 🙂


    • thiskidreviewsbooks April 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

      YAYY! Another art museum fan! 😉 I am a fan of Picasso. I would have LOVED to be surrounded by his paintings! (LUCKY!!!!!) I hope that your friend’s kids like it! 🙂


  11. Miranda Paul April 6, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    Ooooh! What a fresh, original choice. I will definitely have to check this one out, Erik.


  12. Patricia Tilton April 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    Erik, such a wonderful choice today. So unique. Love the theme of art and opposites and the many different ways to get children excited about art. The author gave some great acitivites for children. We need more books like this on our PPB list.


  13. Robyn Campbell April 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    The cover is awesome. This book is great. That opening says it all. It should be required reading for all kids in kindergarten. That way they grow up with an appreciation for artwork. Excellent! 🙂 I can’t wait to give it a read.


  14. Darshana April 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    What a neat way to learn about opposites and art. Thanks!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks April 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

      I’m glad you liked it! It is a great way to learn about opposites and art! 🙂


  15. Stacy S. Jensen April 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    I like the way this one looks from cover to the interior pages. What a fascinating concept? Brilliant really. I also love a book with its own activities.


  16. Beth Stilborn April 6, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    What a wonderful way to introduce kids to art! Some kids find art and art galleries boring — I”m so glad you show that they can be super cool and fun.

    Thanks, Erik!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks April 6, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

      Thanks Ms. Stilborn! I saw that these authors also did a Art Museum ABC book that looks pretty good too. I am going to check that one out too!


  17. Darlene April 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    Thanks Erik! I love books that educate and entertain at the same time. Learning should be fun. What a wonderful way to introduce art to children.


  18. patientdreamer April 6, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

    Going by all the comments here Erik, you have certainly picked a winner! Such a great teaching tool. Differences of life, and art. Very interesting indeed. Thankyou for sharing this with us Erik.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks April 7, 2012 at 7:18 am #

      IThanks Ms. Tulloch! I really like it because it shows you opposites in cool ways. I think young and older kids will like the book!


  19. hannahholt April 6, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    Very cool! A great way to learn opposites and a little art history. What a wonderful pick!


  20. Christie Wright Wild April 6, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

    Looks like a very cool book! Would be great for teaching different art techniques too.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks April 7, 2012 at 7:22 am #

      That’s a great idea! You could talk about all the different art! Thanks Ms. Wild!


  21. viviankirkfield April 7, 2012 at 1:42 am #

    I love this book, Erik! I’ve always enjoyed looking at art books…and I know young children would learn a lot…and have a lot of fun…seeing the contrasting works of art on each set of facing pages.

    Thank you for listing the activities…this would make a wonderful unit for any kindergarten or early elementary class.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks April 7, 2012 at 7:23 am #

      The book had really nice activities in the back of the book! I like looking at art books too 🙂


  22. Penny Klostermann April 9, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    This looks like another awesome book, Erik. What a great tool for teaching opposites AND art to students! I’ll have to pass this on to my friend. She teaches middle school art and is so creative that I imagine she could come up with a very interesting project for her students.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks April 9, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

      I hope your firend and her students like it! I thought it was a really great book!


  23. Julie April 10, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

    This book sounds brilliant! My artistic daughter will love it. Thanks for sharing!


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