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Seen Art?by Scieszka
Synopses & Reviews
It all started when I told my friend Art I would meet him on the corner of Fifth and Fifty-Third.
I didn't see him. So I asked a lady walking up the avenue, "Have you seen Art?"
"MoMA?" asked the lady.
"Uh . . . no, he's just a friend."
"Just down Fifty-Third Street here. In a beautiful new building. You can't miss it."
When this address turns out to be the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, confusion and hilarity ensue. As the narrator continues looking for Art inside MoMA, he is introduced to well-known pieces of art such as Van Gogh's The Starry Night, Matisse's The Red Studio, as well as works by Picasso, Klee, Lichtenstein and others.
In a dynamic collaboration that features comical text and playful illustrations alongside full-color reproductions of the artwork, Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith give readers the perfect companion for a visit to MoMA, and an introduction to some of the world's best works of modern art.
"It all started when I told my friend Art I would meet him on the corner of Fifth and Fifty-Third,' says the narrator of this homage to the redesigned Museum of Modern Art. The boy naively asks pedestrians if they have seen his friend Art, and when everyone quizzically replies, 'MoMA?,' he decides this 'must be a secret code word.' He follows their directions into a glass-and-concrete building, where he's directed through the galleries by patrons with varying definitions of 'Art.' Along the way, readers glimpse actual MoMA highlights, reproduced in miniature on the narrow, horizontally oriented pages by Scieszka and Smith (most recently paired for Science Verse). The boy eyeballs Van Gogh's Starry Night, then goes on a whirlwind non-chronological tour from Magritte and Dali to Klee and Calder, from Meret Oppenheim's fur teacup to Dorothea Lange's photograph Migrant Mother; he even sits on a Verner Panton chair ('Ahem. No sitting on art,' says a museum guard). The narrator — a budding critic with a squiggle of hair and dots for eyes — complains that the iconic objects are 'Not exactly the Art I was looking for.' But by the end, his eyes look like saucers and he wears a dizzy, dazzled grin. The book design ranges from honey-toned cosmetic-counter hues to elegant grays to collage cacophony, suggesting the many moods inspired by such an overwhelming selection. The Art joke wears a bit thin, but MoMA admirers and The Stinky Cheese Man fans get a package deal. All ages." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Encouraging young readers to become acquainted with some of the world's best works of modern art, this collaboration features comical text and playful illustrations along with full-color reproductions of artwork housed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
About the Author
Multiple award-winning author Jon Scieszka grew up in Flint, Michigan, the second oldest and the nicest of six boys. Jon went to school at Culver Military Academy in Indiana where he was a Lieutenant; Albion College in Michigan where he studied to be a doctor; and Columbia University in New York, where he received an M.F.A. in fiction. He taught elementary school in New York for ten years in a variety of positions. He is the author of many books for children including the New York Times Best Illustrated Book The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (illustrated by Lane Smith), the Caldecott Honor book The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (illustrated by Lane Smith), and Math Curse (illustrated by Lane Smith). In addition to his work as an author, Jon also runs a web-based literacy program called Guys Read” that is designed to encourage boys, particularly reluctant readers, to get involved with books. In 2008, Jon was named the countrys first National Ambassador for Young Peoples Literature, a joint effort of the Library of Congress and the Childrens Book Council. During his two-year role as Ambassador, he acted as a spokesperson for childrens literature, speaking to groups of parents, teachers, and children to encourage the importance of reading. You can visit Jon online at www.jsworldwide.com.
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