Max and Arthur are friends who share an interest in painting. Arthur is an accomplished painter; Max is a beginner.
Max's first attempt at using a paintbrush sends the two friends on a whirlwind trip through various artistic media, which turn out to have unexpected pitfalls.
I recently read this book and thought it was very clever. Its written and illustrated by David Wiesner who absolutely has his illustrator hat on for the tale. It starts out as a story about the meeting of two characters and a shared enjoyment of art. Then it gets very surreal! The exploration of media and what makes up a work of art seems to be key. In a lot of ways the book made me think of Allan Ahlberg's 'The Pencil', or Anthony Browne's 'Bear's Magic Pencil'. That surreal creation of things for the pleasure of creating and the consequences that might have.
The words are almost secondary here. They are a nice narrative addition, but they aren't anything special. One or two words stuck out as being almost too much of a mouthful for the characters or reader but my teacher friends would not agree I'm sure. The story is in the pictures and there are a few wordless pages as part of that. The price seems really steep, but this is a hardcover book which explains the cost. The pictures are first rate as well.
This book has an inviting and re-readable quality to it. If you have a child who loves art, lizards and giggling at very silly things, this could well be a winner for you. If you have a budding artist, all the better to talk about different art media and the artist process.
I really enjoyed reading this book to my children but the illustrations really make the story. Although the book isn't clear which character is saying what, after a while you work out that Max's words are represented in a semi normal font and Arthur uses an italic font. This book would be great for a budding young artist but it does get quite complicated with all the artistic reference - I'm not even sure if I understand them all myself.
This is another beautifully illustrated children's book. The illustrations themselves use acrylic, pastel, watercolor, and indian ink (all of which figure in the story itself). Even the lizards that feature in the story have some interesting and very lifelike facial expressions!
The story takes place in the desert with two Lizards (well they look like lizards to me) - Arthur is an artist, and his friend Max comes along and wants to paint too so he asks Arthur what he thinks he could paint.
So Arthur suggests 'You can paint me?' and Max takes him seriously so Arthur ends up totally covered in paint. When their other friends turn up to try and fix Arthur the end up making more of a mess with different art and paint types, such as when they paint him with watercolor paint and he drinks a glass of water, which of course washes the colour away and leave him as just an outline.
This makes for a very cute story overall which will leave the kids wanting to hear it over and over, Also the book is large, as are the illustrations which even captures the attention of my infant.
I feel that it is quite reasonably priced as it feels like it is worth that much. It has a beautiful matte hard cover with gloss illustrations and glossy pages.
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