Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Art & Max
Written and Illustrated by: David Wiesner
Recommended Ages: 4-8
If you are not already familiar with David Wiesner, I highly recommend hightailing it to the nearest bookstore or library and checking out his children's picture books. He has received the Caldecott Medal three times (for Tuesday, The Three Pigs and for Flotsam), and is only the second person in history to do so. His newest book Art & Max will be released on October 4, and it's definitely worth checking out.
Art & Max is the story of two desert-dwelling, art-loving lizards. Arthur is the larger, more dignified lizard with a real talent for painting. His smaller, more frenetic companion Max desperately wants to paint too, but lacks ideas. When Art suggests that he paint him, Max takes it literally and then the fun begins. The story that follows is an adventure filled with silly moments, as well as a study of the creative process. In the end, one of the nice touches is that Arthur (the teacher) manages to learn something from Max (the student).
While I'm sure your kids will enjoy Art & Max for the sheer fun of the story, it's the pictures that make it such a special book. After I read through it the first time, I found myself going back and studying every picture he created. Each page is a work of art, and there are lots of little details to study when you go through it a second or third time. With their expressive faces and zest for life, Art and Max are lovable lizards your kids will be happy to welcome into their lives.
For an interesting look at the creative process involved in the evolution of Art & Max, here's an interview with David Wiesner. It's fascinating to see how his mind worked as he experimented with different media and even more interesting to see how he came up with the idea of the two lizards as the two protaganists.
For people who live in the Seattle or Bainbridge Island area, David Wiesner will be at Eagle Harbor Books on Sunday, October 10 at 3:00 pm. It should be an informative and entertaining talk. Here's a link with more information.
Here's a complete list of books written and illustrated by David Wiesner:
Flotsam by David Wiesner. 2006
Three Pigs by David Wiesner. 2001
Sector 7 by David Wiesner. 1999
June 29, 1999 by David Wiesner. 1992
Tuesday by David Wiesner. 1991
Hurricane by David Wiesner. 1990
Free Fall by David Wiesner. 1988