Let's Paint! by Gabriel Alborozo

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Let's Paint! by Gabriel Alborozo

Buy Let's Paint! by Gabriel Alborozo at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Lorraine McDonald
Reviewed by Lorraine McDonald
Summary: A quirky look at art for budding Monets, Dalis and Mummies and Daddies. The author sets out to open up the world of art however, some of the ideas and concepts may go over the heads of the intended age group who are already instinctively creating art without introspection, reflection or guidance.
Buy? No Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: March 2014
Publisher: Allen & Unwin Children's Books
ISBN: 9781743361320

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Are you keen to paint pictures, but afraid of making mistakes?

With this opening gambit Let’s Paint!, kicks off a short exploration of artistic styles and concepts. Illustrated with a combination of black pen and ink line drawings and paintings, Alborozo sets out to demonstrate how art can be fun.

Let’s Paint! looks joyous from the cover. There are paint splotches, a naughty dog running amok with a brush tied to his tail and a rambunctious tot with a roller, a brush and a grin. Inside, I expected either a kid’s introduction to the history of art or a look at the age old question of what art is - something to inspire a child and fuel their creativity. What I found was a bit of a muddle.

The book starts with a philosophical look at how ideas are formed – they can be round and juicy or have to be held on to very tightly or they will blow away. It then moves on to consider how artists paint. Here a variety of styles are shown. Some allude to artistic heavy weights such as Rembrandt though no direct references are made. Artistic temperaments and emotions are then considered, as apparently when painting you might feel a bit scared or worried. A little cartoon painter, plus the dog and toddler from the cover, act as guides through these sections. Despite their friendly and consistent presence, I was still left with a disorientated feeling, with a sense that no topic was covered completely nor addressed in a manner a small child would understand.

This book certainly doesn’t talk down to children, and some of the vocabulary is quite stretching, which is refreshing. However, the majority of the under sixes that I know would be utterly bamboozled right from the get go with the question on page one. To children, painting is fun like sweets taste good. It just is. Not many pre-schoolers are familiar with losing their muse or have angst before putting paint brush to paper. Well, not the ones at my play group anyway. They splish-splash away with a merry abandon that I thought was par for the course in early childhood. I haven’t seen much evidence of them being shy or embarrassed about their art as they tote their latest master piece home to mum. And nor should they be.

Let’s Paint! will appeal to art loving parents who have artistic aspirations for their offspring and want to see something a bit different in a book to share. I think there may also be some special children who will ponder the advice and concepts in this book and produce art all the better for it. It’s certainly a quirky little book, distinct from the main stream, which will sit more comfortably in the Tate Modern gift shop than in the book box at my village playgroup.

If you are feeling creative but would like some inspiration and guidance, why not take a look at Craft-A-Day: 365 Simple Handmade Projects by Sarah Goldschadt?

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Buy Let's Paint! by Gabriel Alborozo at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Let's Paint! by Gabriel Alborozo at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Let's Paint! by Gabriel Alborozo at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Let's Paint! by Gabriel Alborozo at Amazon.com.


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