Books, Posters, and Websites
Children’s Book Briefs
Dropping in on Renaissance Artists.
Pamela Geiger Stephens, illustrated
by Jim McNeill. Glenview, IL: Crystal Productions, 2010. Illus., hardcover, 32 pp., $15.95. DVD and book
This is the ninth in a series of books
that introduces students to artists,
their work, and their lives. Our hero,
Puffer the puffin, goes to Florence,
Italy, where the Renaissance began,
and encounters an art student named
Polly. Polly helps Puffer learn about
Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Raphael
in brightly illustrated images and
photographs of masterworks like
the Pietà, Five Grotesque Heads,
Mona Lisa, The Creation of Adam,
St. George and the Dragon, and The
School of Athens. This book exemplifies the high-quality standard of the
rest of the series, which is of great
value to teachers and parents everywhere.
By Sharon Warwick, art teacher at Winfree
Academy in Denton, Texas.
13 British Artists Children Should
Know. Alison Baverstock. New York,
NY: Prestel, 2011. Illus., hardcover,
45 pp., $14.95.
This book introduces students to a
diverse group of artists from a variety
of cultural backgrounds and time peri-
ods. Each entry includes examples of
the artist’s work, biographical infor-
mation, historical context, style of
artwork, and things to think about.
13 British Artists Children Should
Know easily lends itself to many dif-
ferent uses in the artroom. By includ-
ing such different approaches to
art-making, Alison Baverstock allows
students to connect to the artist and
themes of their choice while they gain
exposure to the unique journeys art-
ists take to become successful. This
book could be enjoyed with an entire
group, as part of a lesson plan, or as
inspiration for individual student art-
ists. Baverstock has created an excel-
lent resource that is informative and
appropriate for all students.
By Emily Sandagata, artist teacher at the
New Art Center in Newton, Massachusetts.
Shapes: Art And Math. Glenview, IL:
Crystal Productions. $15.95 for a set
Learning shapes has never been this
fun thanks to Crystal Productions’
newly released Shapes: Art and Math
art display cards. The set of sixteen
cards, each 18 x 6" ( 46 x 15 cm), introduces and defines shapes with colorful graphics and diagrams. An added
bonus is that these cards are scored to
be folded and used as flash cards for
quizzing and testing, or left unfolded
and displayed on the classroom wall.
The cards are packaged in a heavy
plastic packet that makes storage or
transportation easy for teachers with
minimal classroom space or for travel
between campuses. This protective
sleeve also helps to keep the cards
clean and orderly between uses.
Art educators, classroom teachers, and parents will appreciate the
durability of these cards. Printed on
heavy card stock with a protective UV
coating, this recommended teaching
resource is a resilient product made to
last for years, even with the handling
of many little hands.
Amber Dow is a student teacher at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Culturally Situated Design Tools:
Teaching Math through Culture.
Although this site was designed with
math teachers in mind, art teachers should check it out as well. Ron
Eglash, an ethno-mathematician from
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
identified underlying mathematical
principles in artifacts from a variety of
cultures and time periods and developed interactive software applications
to explore these relationships.
Five cultural areas are highlighted
(African, African-American, Youth
Subculture, Native American, and
Latino), with background information
for each. Links, lesson plans, worksheets, videos, animated demos, and