The Metropolitan Museum of Art has published picture books for children, and if you haven’t seen them yet, they are worth a visit to your local library to check them out. Although these are geared towards young children, teaching concepts such as shapes and the alphabet, you can also use them with older children to teach or review art appreciation.
Museum Shapes begins with a painting by Picasso of a harlequin; the question is then posed, “What shape decorates his clothing?” Readers turn the page to find the answer — in this instance, a square — then look to find four more pieces of famous artwork that include squares. Younger children will enjoy searching for the squares in each picture. The book continues in a similar manner, featuring shapes such as a circle, a rectangle, an oval, a triangle, an arch, a crescent, a diamond, a heart, and a star.
For older children, you can choose to utilize the pages in the back of the book. Here you’ll find a description of each painting that was portrayed. Listed are the names of the paintings; the names of the artists; the artists’ nationalities, birthdates, and dates of death; the sizes of the paintings and the mediums used; and the names of those who donated it to the museum. The artwork includes pieces from the United States, Syria, India, Japan, France, and others, dating from Ancient Egypt through the twentieth century. What a challenge for older students to try to recognize not only the era but the artist as well.
Other books are also available from the museum. Museum ABC and Museum 123 follow the same format, and My First ABC is offered as a board book for even younger children.
All in all, these books have something for everyone — even the adults who read them!
Guest Blogger: Samantha Bell
Photo from Amazon.com