Books, Posters, and Websites
Children’s Book Briefs
Mimi’s Dada Catifesto. Shelley Jackson. New York, NY: Houghton Miff-lin Harcourt, 2010. Illus., hardcover,
48 pp., $17.00.
Mimi is an artistic cat looking for
a human with the soul of an artist, which she finds in Mr. Dada. He
believes that art can be anything if an
artist says so, as illustrated through
the book’s amazing collages, which
show young readers exactly how wild
and imaginative art can be. The text
and illustrations in this book do a
good job of telling the story of Mr.
Dada, his highly unusual world of
art, and Mimi the artistic cat. All of
Mimi’s art and poetry are inspired
by Dada artists and poets like John
Heartfield, Hannah Höch, Kurt
Schwitters, and Marcel Duchamp.
This is a charming story and a good
source of information about Dada art
3D Optical Illusions. Dee Costello.
Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., 2010. Illus., hardcover, 48 pp., $11.99.
This book shows kids how optical
illusions work, then presents clearly
illustrated, easy-to-follow instructions
that demonstrate how kids can create
their own optical illusion art. Cleverly
hidden in the pocket at the back of the
book are a pair of 3-D glasses and art
paper, while a drawer built into the
book’s extra-large spine contains a set
of two magic pens and a special clip to
hold them together. The pens, one red
and one blue, are just the right shades
for creating illusions. This book can
provide hours of fun while helping to
develop perception, imagination, and
visual sense, and can be just as exciting for students at home as it is for
students in the classroom.
Sharon Warwick is an art teacher at Win-free Academy School in Denton, Texas.
Origins: The Creative Spark Behind
Japan’s Best Product Designs. Shu
Hagiwara and Masashi Kuma.
Tokyo, Japan: Kodansha International, 2007. Illus., hardcover, 112
The authors compile beautifully
colored photographs of Japan’s most
popular and innovative product design
in this book. More than forty ideas,
from the Shinkansen bullet train
to animal-shaped rubber bands are
explored, as well as the historical, cul-
tural, and visual appeal of these prod-
ucts and their designers. The striking
photographs provide natural compari-
sons, like the buttons on a sleek black
phone shown next to dark, slippery,
round rocks. The book provides infor-
mation about product design from
concept to finished product. This book
helps the reader understand the sim-
plicity, tradition, and artistry applied
to each featured product. This book is
recommended as a resource for higher-
level students and teachers.
Cindy Hasio is a Ph.D. student in Art Education at the University of North Texas in
Laurence M. Gartel: Digital Media
Artist Posters. Crystal Productions,
$29.95 for a set of twelve.
In a world of advanced technology in
art, these posters are sure to engage
students in an informative and compelling way. The twelve-piece set
explores various digital art created by
Gartel from 1976 to 2009. The diverse
range of prints makes them perfect
for a classroom discussion or individual, close-up investigation. Subjects
include portraits, landscapes, graffiti,
and still lifes. You could use the set as
a timeline of digital art, since the evolution of electronic art is clearly evidenced through almost three decades
of Gartel’s artwork.
Each 16 x 12" ( 41 x 30 cm) poster is
printed in full color, and can easily be
hung on a classroom wall or used by
individual students. The posters have
their own plastic portfolio for ease of
storage or transportation. A teacher