Friday, November 16, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: ART
Author/Illustrator: Patrick McDonnell
Publisher/Date: Little, Brown and Company/ 2006
Genre/Audience: Fiction/ Preschool-Grade 3
Themes: Art!, Daydreaming, Inspiration

"This is Art.  And this is art.  Art and his art.  Can you tell them apart?"

Synopsis: From School Library Journal - In a play on words that carries throughout the story, Art, a young boy, joyfully tries his hand at all kinds of art. He DRAWS SCRIBBLES THAT SQUIGGLE, SPLOTCHES WITH BLOTCHES, ZIGS and ZAGS, doodles and dogs, and so much more. His creations, rendered in watercolor and crayon, extend from the drizzles on the title page to swirls and curls and Jackson Pollock-like spreads until the doodles become a picture in which Art and his dog blast off for the moon: THERE'S NO STOPPING ART...WHEN ART IS INSPIRED. He falls asleep amid his work and awakens to find it on the refrigerator, PUT THERE BY MOTHER 'CAUSE MOTHER LOVES ART. The rhyming text is brief and takes a backseat to the little boy's exuberant pictures. This story, along with Peter H. Reynolds's The Dot (Candlewick, 2003), can free up hesitant artists to let their talent shine.-Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT

Why I Love This Book:
My boys and I have fallen in love with this book (it's on its third renewal from the library!)  It is a simple rhyme with a fun pun and the art takes center stage.  This is a breath of fresh air, giving children the permission and encouragement they need to make their own art, drawing from their own inspiration.  One of my favorite lines: "Art stares at the paper and uses his noodle to conjure up a perfect doodle."  Unfortunately, this gem of a book is out-of-print.  And used copies are expensive.  I've looked!  So head to your library to enjoy this beautiful play on Art, the boy, and his art.

Click here for book trailer, blurb, and author info.
Click here for ART word jumble.
Click here for Abstract Expressionist art.

For more links to Perfect Picture Books, a collection of bloggers who contribute at Susanna Leonard Hill’s site, click here.


  1. How sad that such a wonderful book is out of print!

  2. Glad our library has a copy, this is a cute one!

  3. Love the mirroring in this book. What a wonderful story. Sad it's out of print. Will see if my library has a copy. The cover immediately captured my attention!

  4. Oh, I'll have to find this one. When my oldest was in preschool, one of his friends commented about how he "scribble scrabbled." I have tried to show them there are all kinds of art, even scribble scrabble.

  5. I was thinking of Peter Reynolds while reading your review! What a perfect pair. This book sounds like a lot of fun - I love the play on words and the idea that art is so available to everyone - crayons or paint, squiggles or splotches :)

  6. We just got another book by him at the library on Thursday. I'll have to look for this one.