Children’s Book Briefs
Anita Takes Notes. Osvaldo P.
Amelio-Ortiz and Andrea Rodri-
guez Vidal. Montevideo, Uruguay:
Nicanitas Books for Children, 2006.
Illus., hardcover, 28 pp., $12.95.
Beautifully and boldly illustrated,
Anita Takes Notes tells the story
of an artistic little girl who keeps a
notebook in which she keeps draw-
ings and records the visual experi-
ence of her life—a song of both
laughter and strife.
Angular outlines enclose bright
colors and textures in large two-page illustrations. Easy-to-read text
makes this book just right for the
short literature connection that
might precede an art lesson for first
or second grade.
Hugo and Miles in I’ve Painted
Everything! An Adventure in Paris.
Scott Magoon. Boston, MA: Hough-
ton Mifflin Company, 2007. Illus.,
hardcover, 38 pp., $16.00.
Hugo is a blue elephant who is
unable to paint because he thinks
he has painted everything, so he
consults his friend Miles who sug-
gests a trip to Paris for inspiration.
Once in Paris, Hugo finds inspira-
tion and begins to paint from a new
point of view. This charming story
is illustrated in an entertaining,
child-friendly manner. The content
is important to all readers as they
go in search of subject matter and
style. The delightful illustrations of
Paris landmarks, including the Louvre, are reason enough to have this
in an elementary art class.
The Day the Dragon Danced.
Carolyn Haugaard, illustrated by
Carolyn Reed Barritt. Fremont, CA:
Shen’s Books, 2006. Illus., hard-
cover, 32 pp., $16.95.
Join Sugar and Grandma as they
attend a multicultural Chinese
New Year celebration. Sugar tries
dragon beard’s candy and watches
her father dance in the New Year’s
dragon. The engaging storytelling
and the expressive illustrations give
the reader a charming perspective
on this ancient tradition that is now
truly American and Chinese. Use
this book in your elementary art
classroom to introduce a variety
of lessons on culture, art, dragons,
traditions, and themes from China
or Chinatown. It encourages our
appreciation and respect for people
and entertains the reader at the
same time. Sugar, Grandma, and
Daddy all learn to dance together
with their neighbors and to say
“Gung hay fat choy” and “Happy
—Sharon Warwick is a national art consul-
tant for Davis Publications.
The Photographer’s Guide to the
Digital Darkroom. Bill Kennedy.
New York, NY: Allworth Press, 2006.
Illus., softcover, 256 pp., $29.95.
Digital photography is relatively
new in the 180-year history of photography. The shift from the darkroom to computer software is still
an evolving field. In this guide, Bill
Kennedy defines how digital imag-
ing systems work and instructs on
producing quality prints. Highlights
on configuring Adobe Photoshop,
grayscale prints, and color manage-
ment are included. Kennedy empha-
sizes development of vocabulary
under the umbrella of skill sets—
processes followed to put knowledge
into practice. This guide to the challenging field of digital photography
is comprehensive and will provide
a transition from the old to the new
methods of photography.
Making Art Together: How Collaborative Art-Making Can Transorm
Kids, Classrooms, and Communities. Mark Cooper and Lisa Sjos-
trom. Boston, MA: Beacon Press,
2006 . Illus., hardcover, 152 pp.,
Mark Cooper draws from his years
of experience as a collaborative
project leader in the East Coast arts
community to report on inspir-
ing youth, finding supporters, and
integrating art projects into the
average curriculum. He also shares
his knowledge of financing, dealing
with administrators, and classroom
discipline. His strong belief that
serious art-making “can serve as
a powerful entry point into every
subject at every grade level” is
conveyed throughout the text. He
suggests that students immersed in
hands-on learning and expression
will increase their retention of the
experience more than from reading a
textbook or working online.
—Rebeccca Martin is director of education
at the Sid Richardson Collection in Fort
SchoolArts August/September 2007