Some of the best art appreciation books for children ~ and adults! ~ are the “Art for Children” series by Ernest Raboff. I was given “Rembrandt” after falling in love with every page, I was so excited to find “Vasquez” and “Da Vinci” last week at my local library. I think others were checked out at the time, and I can’t wait to see them!
These books are so remarkable because of their beautiful, artful approach to the paintings. Each page is relaxing and enjoyable to look at. Rather than harsh printing, the author used his pen and ink to hand-write the biography of the artist. Fortunately, he keeps the details few and moves right to what we really want to know: how to enjoy the artist’s workmanship!
Here is where Raboff really excels. Again, he uses his ink pen with different colors and sketches to explain to the reader in a gentle and reflective manner how to meditate on each painting. He does not expect us to be art experts; all we need is a knowledge of primary colors and appreciation for creation. His explanations bring us further into the painting and help the reader take time to enjoy looking ah thinking about what the artist is communicating.
I have found it easy to incorporate these books into my regular studies, too. A few days after sneaking a book into my child’s reading bag, I asked him to write his copy book entry on the life of the artist. A different day, he was to meditate on a painting he enjoyed and write what he saw. The assignment of writing an entire page made my children look for many details and become creative ast to the background of the painting; they ended up enjoying the excercise.
I, personally, could read these books again and again and hope to find more to keep “Rembrandt” company. The family who owns the complete set has a real treasure!