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

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Review: Grandma in Blue with Red Hat

What is art? Grandma in Blue with Red Hat is a book that poses this question and others. It introduces readers to the concept of art through a boy who attends art classes at a museum.

The boy’s teacher explains to the class that art can be anything and there are no wrong answers. She tells them about famous painters like Picasso (who liked to paint in his underwear), and asks them why they think pieces of art are in the museum. The children have different answers: because they’re beautiful, different, they tell a story, are funny, and so on).

As the story progresses and the class moves through the museum, it’s like we’re touring with them. The illustrations of the visit merge the class exploring with different artworks (paintings, sculptures and artefacts), some of which will be recognisable to adults (like Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night and Monet’s Waterlilies).

When the boy returns home and his Grandma asks what he did in class, he decides Grandma deserves to be in the museum, not because she’s old, but for a simple, heart-warming reason. You’ll have to read the story to discover what it is.

Since the museum won’t accept a living person as an exhibit, the boy decides to put on his own exhibition. It’s filled with art, all featuring his Grandma - including one of Grandma wearing a blue dress and red hat. It’s a one of a kind exhibition, and this is a one of a kind book.

Read the story, visit a museum or gallery, create art of your own, and be inspired by Grandma in Blue with Red Hat.

Title: Grandma in Blue with Red Hat
Author: Scott Menchin
Illustrator: Harry Bliss
Publisher: Abrams, $19.99 RRP
Publication Date: May 2015
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781419714849
For ages: 5-10
Type: Picture book

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