'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Review: Ben and Gracie's Art Adventure

Ben and Gracie's mum works in an art gallery. After school, the kids race up the gallery steps to meet with her and they're greeted by a man they've never seen before. He hands Ben a golden ticket and they go inside.

As the duo pass a painting, it begins to glow and the ticket starts to shimmer. Cautiously, they approach--and suddenly, they're flying through the air and right into the painting!

Landing on a dusty, horse-drawn cart, the kids take a moment to orient themselves. There before them is a man and a woman on their way to the mountains. The woman shows Gracie a journal from her long trip from England to Australia.

Ben and Gracie explore this magical bushland place, picking wildflowers and encountering a mother and her daughter Mary. They stay the night, covered in leaves for warmth, then prepare to find their way home. Handing the golden ticket to Mary, the two kids are whisked back to the gallery from whence they came.

And Gracie is still clutching her posie of wildflowers.

This sweet, simple story is the perfect artistic foil for this gorgeous book, bursting with glorious artwork by one of Australia's finest artists. Inspired by the work of painter Frederick McCubbin (1855 - 1917), Mark Wilson has reinterpreted a range of his paintings to fit the book's storyline, including The North Wind (1891), The Pioneer (1904), Lost (1886) and Tri-tree Glade (1910).

Beautifully laid-out and designed, with draft imagery interspersed throughout, this is is a gorgeous introduction to Australian art for kids.

Title: Ben and Gracie's Art Adventure
Author/Illustrator: Mark Wilson
Publisher: Lothian, $28.99 RRP
Publication Date: 12 April 2011
Format: Hard cover
ISBN: 9780734411426
For ages: 4 - 10
Type: Picture Book

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