Monday, April 22, 2019

Nonfiction Monday

The Renaissance Artists with History Projects for Kids, by Diane C. Taylor is part of the Renaissance For Kids Series from Nomad Press. In this volume, Taylor structures her work around chapter biographies of Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian as a means of introducing readers, ages 10-15, to both the works of these renown artists and the culture of their time.

An introduction establishes a foundation for the chapters that follow by defining the Renaissance, discussing humanism, and contrasting medieval art with that of the Renaissance. Attention is paid to the celebration of the human body as expressed though the nudes portrayed, the growth in the demand for portraiture, and the celebrity of artists. Each chapter utilizes primary sources and a timeline paired with a collection of paintings to illustrate important stages in the life of each artist: their childhood, training, patrons, the impact of Greek and Roman art, cultural influences, techniques, and legacy.
Readers are challenged to ask questions and use critical thinking skills in response to a series of hands-on projects that are offered at the end of each chapter. Photographs highlight the art work and multiple text boxes offer additional facts, quotes, and insights to broaden the scope of each concept. Calls to action are strategically placed throughout: Wonder Why? poses additional questions for consideration.  Connect contains QR codes for audio and video files. Words of Wonder directs readers to a multi-page glossary at the end of the book. Resources provides a list of books, videos, and museums for further exploration.
The book is enticing on so many levels and a pleasure to read. The conversational tone and age-appropriate vocabulary is appealing. The reproduced art work is vivid and varied. The text and illustrations are richly detailed. Recommended for home and school libraries.

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