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Summary: Artists lead interesting lives. More often than not, discussions of famous artists look at their work and then how the events of their lives influenced their art. For the 36 famous artists in this book, the reverse is true. Each 4-page profile offers insight into lesser-known details of their lives. This is a nonfiction chapter book of artists from the Renaissance to the 20th century for middle grade readers. These are mini-biographies with little-known-facts about the personalities and habits of well known artists.
Type of Reading: independent reading
Recommended Age: read together: 10 and up; read yourself: 12 and Up
Interest Level: 12 and Up
Age of Child: Review pending.
Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Adult Reader Reaction: After reading the description and the author's note I was very excited about this book. However, after the first few profiles, I found it harder to pick up and continue. Although very clever and filled with great facts, the presentation ranged from "snarky" to glib. Admittedly, I may be showing my age ... but this could be a turnoff for teens, as well.
Pros: Original stories offer wonderful insight into famous artists and their work. The short profiles are excellent for engaging struggling or dormant readers.
Cons: It would be helpful to have a gallery with more of the famous paintings in it. For readers new to art, the works may not be as "Famous" as the artist him/her self. Also, there are sexual references (affairs, etc) that parents may not be comfortable with their pre-teen reading.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. Like most art, this will be a matter of taste.
Educational Themes: Each of the profiles begins with a standard template about the artist, which is helpful for setting context. The author does an excellent job explaining the economic and cultural environments of the various eras, which lends itself to a nice history lesson.
Notes: The Reading Tub® picked up this book at Book Expo America. There are no expectations of review associated with this book.
Literary Categories: Nonfiction - biography, art, young adult series
Date(s) Reviewed: September 2012
Other Reviews: No Critics Reviews found at the time of this review. See reader feedback at barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com.