Books, Posters, DVDs, and Websites
Children’s Book Briefs
A Piece of Chalk. Jennifer Ericsson,
illustrations by Michelle Shapiro.
Milford, CT: Roaring Brook Press,
2007. Illus., softcover, 32 pp., $16.95.
An everyday event—a child making
a picture on a driveway—is visualized in an especially attractive way.
The sing-song text identifies a color
for each object: lemon yellow is the
sun; snowy white is a dog; dirt brown
are the birds; etc. The pages gradually
describe the chalk picture, the girl and
the surrounding grass. In this charming manner, Shapiro designs the pages
to contrast the chalky creation with
the equally colorful environment.
Rain makes a sort of rainbow as it
mixes the chalks together and contrasts with a sharply defined painted
rainbow in the sky. Rather than
despair over these changes, our young
heroine looks forward to drawing new
— Reviewed by Ken Marantz, professor
emeritus of art education at Ohio State
How to Draw Amazing Motorcycles.
Aaron Sautter, illustrated by Tod
Smith. Mankato, MN: Capstone
Press, 2008. Illus., hardcover, 32 pp.,
This is one in a series of eight compelling, high-interest books designed
to help low-level readers draw amazing things. The Drawing Cool Stuff
series also includes: Terrifying Robots,
Incredible Cars, Monster Trucks,
Manga Warriors, Comic Heroes,
Disgusting Aliens, and Ferocious
Dinosaurs. It has carefully controlled
vocabulary, short sentence structure
and clear, uncomplicated design. This
series is written for young readers
who love to draw and gives them the
steps to develop skill in drawing and
designing the objects that fascinate,
motivate, and engage youngsters.
—Reviewed by Sharon Warwick, a
national sales consultant for Davis
The Adventures of Johnny Bunko:
The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever
Need. Daniel Pink, illustrated by
Pob Ten Pas. New York, NY: Penguin
Group, 2008. Illus., softcover, 160
The best-selling author of A Whole
New Mind, Daniel Pink, gives readers some sage advice about life and
work in this business book written in
the Japanese comic format known as
manga. Johnny Bunko finds himself
disillusioned in a frustrating job until
he meets Diana, a pixie-like advisor
with zen-like axioms and attitude
with a captial “A.” She helps Johnny
find his true creative passion and the
secret of workplace success by challenging, cajoling, and inspiring him
to new insights. Six essential lessons
will inspire readers to thrive in the
world of work in this fascinating,
memorable story with characters that
come to life on the page. This book
is great for middle and high school
students, art students, and teachers everywhere. To learn more about
Johnny Bunko, visit www.johnny-bunko.com.
—Reviewed by Sharon Warwick, a
national sales consultant for Davis Publications.
Studio Thinking: The Real Benefits of
Visual Arts Education. Lois Hetland,
Ellen Winner, Shirley Veenema, and
Kimberly M. Sheridan. New York,
NY: Teachers College Press, 2007.
Illus., softcover, 120 pp., $24.95.
This enlightening book is based on a
study that was conducted to identify
what excellent visual art teachers
teach, how they teach, and what students learn in their classes.
As a result of this study, the
authors developed the framework
that they refer to as Studio Thinking.
This framework describes how these
classrooms are structured with each
structure supporting different aspects
of student learning. The authors
point out that similar mental habits
are important in the study of dance,
music, theater, science, mathematics,
history, literature, and writing.
This book is very educational and
would be helpful to art teachers in
promoting quality teaching in their
classrooms. The information presented in this book would also qualify
it to be used as a text in training
future teachers or in staff development.