Art & Max

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by David Wiesner. Picture Book. 40 pages. Grades K-4.
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Review

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Art and Max are lizards. Art has painted a beautiful portrait and now Max is excited to learn how to paint too. Art is not thrilled with the idea, but he suggests that Max paint him. Taking the suggestion literally, Max paints Art himself at which point a furious Art shakes off the paint and, somehow, his original color and scales. Max's attempts to help only make things worse until Art is just an outline, which, of course, unravels.

Max recreating Art With other lizards looking on Max eventually recreates Art, this time with glorious pointillist colors. The whole process has changed their outlook on artistic style and now they both happily return to painting—Art splattering a cactus à la Jackson Pollock and Max creating a pointillist portrait of two other lizards.

Max and Art painting Like much of Wiesner's work this book has a surreal quality. Kids will find it odd, but also intriguing. This is another nice book on breaking away from staid traditional representational art and toward experimenting with bolder creativity. There are parallels to life as well as the artistic reference.


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