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

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Review: Puzzling Dogs

Dogs feature in lots of works of art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art collection has many. They’ve brought some together in this book in a kind of “best in show” which highlights some of the variety.

Puzzling Dogs shares eight works of art by giving a small reproduction of the full piece and a close up of the section of it featuring a dog (or sometimes two). Each close-up image has been turned into a simple 16-piece puzzle. The image is repeated underneath, so it is easy to re-create it when the puzzle pieces are removed.

The double page spreads are accompanied by a prompting question about the image, and an explanatory fact about the artwork, often about how it was created, as a way to engage young readers. Artist and other details are also given for all the artwork which include oils, embroidery, ink, watercolours and woodblock prints.

Being a decent-sized board book makes this accessible for quite young children, although the presence of the puzzle pieces suggests this would work best for preschoolers and older. Dogs being the feature subject, and often much loved pets, brings added interest.

It’s great to see so many books of this kind being published as a way of introducing children to a broad spectrum of art at a young age.

Title:  Puzzling Dogs
Author: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Publisher: Abrams, $19.99 RRP
Publication Date: May 2015
Format: Board book (with puzzle pieces)
ISBN: 9781419713620
For ages: 4+
Type: Junior Non Fiction

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