Wednesday 5 December 2012

Henny Hops into Art - The Hare with the Pearl Earring by Julia Dweck and Patricia Saco (KiteReaders Publishing)

Back in July we chanced upon a rather fantastic e-book that introduced children to the world of fine art, and some of the world's most famous artists and their works. We raved about it back then but now we've got the means to look at the book ourselves, we're overjoyed to learn there's an enhanced edition available through the iBook store from KiteReaders.

"Henny Hops into Art - The Hare with the Pearl Earring" caught our eye for many reasons. As Charlotte starts to discover classic artists through the brilliant world of children's picture books, it's quite tough to find books that neatly show off and explain the art world and the fantastic works on offer in a child-friendly way.

Through wonderful rhyming text (which, in the app, can be read aloud by you, or read to you) and utterly exquisite illustrations, we learn about a young Hare called Henny who loves her local gallery and loves to model for the artists there.

Cleverly, Julia and Patricia have created fantastically engaging characters who 'stand in' for the classic artists. So we soon meet Pi-Cat-Sso, and Van Crow and of course Verm Hare who are wonderful animal versions of Picasso, Van Gogh and Vermeer.

The interactive options in the app let a child explore colour mixing, put together jigsaw puzzles and explore the rich and vibrant real-world art that inspired the book - and of course the wonderful artists behind them.

As we said back in July, it's a crying shame that the book isn't available in print form (please please please someone make this happen!) but as an iBook it's utterly brilliant value and there's no better way to introduce your child to the art world.

Download Henny Hops Into Art here on the iTunes Store

Charlotte's best bit: She loved Pi-Cat-Sso (I suspected she would, she's completely mad about Picasso at the moment after reading Nicholas Allan's excellent "Picasso's Trousers"). But most of all she really loved Henny Hare and her beautiful dresses, a brilliant guide through the book and so very cute

Daddy's favourite bit: Vibrant illustrations and such a brilliant idea for a book. It stimulates and triggers so many discussions about art and artists, and engages children to go off and find out more, maybe even visit a gallery themselves. Utterly superb!

(Kindly supplied to us for review by KiteReaders / Julia Dweck)