Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Art History: Paper Dolls by Kyle Hilton (Chronicle Children's Books)

Here's a rather neat way of serving up a slice or two of art history in a hugely attractive way...
Kyle Hilton's awesome "Art History: Paper Dolls" from Chronicle Books introduces art and artists in an entirely new way.
Rather than stuffy text with a few illustrations, you'll meet the artists themselves and get the chance to get busy with your scissors, making a whole series of paper dolls of some of the most prominent and talented folk in history.

Stretching right back to Leonardo Da Vinci and right up to more recent times with Roy Liechtenstein and Andy Warhol, "Art History: Paper Dolls" wears its humour firmly on its sleeve as each artist is accompanied by a ton of different props and scenic items for your own artist-based paper play.

Master of the twirly moustache, Salvador Dali
Each page spread features a different artist, with various interesting facts about these quirky personalities dotted around the models.

You'll also get a glimpse of the artist's work in progress, as there are also half-completed canvases to crop out and place alongside your characters, and even costumes so you can dress them up for different occasions.

This book kept catching our eye as we often see it in our local museum's gift shop (luckily for us the Ashmolean Museum is a stone's throw away from work so we can pop in and admire works by some of the artists in this very book!)

Kyle's illustrations are brilliant, and though some of the elements might need a bit of a parental once-over before you let your little ones loose on them, it's a fascinating glimpse into the art world and the various colourful characters who make it such a fascinating subject to study.

Leonardo Da Vinci, genius artist and inventor
The one small criticism of the book is that the models need to be cut out with scissors, which was a little bit frustrating for Charlotte but with a bit of help from me, we were soon mixing and matching all the different props, costumes and canvases to build our own crazy combinations (if you've ever wondered how Leonardo Da Vinci would look dressed as a diver, now's your chance to pinch Salvador Dali's diving cossie and fit it to Leo instead!)

That small point aside, this is a brilliant and extremely funny book that will absorb you for hours.

"Art History: Paper Dolls" is out now from Chronicle Books.

Make art history yourself!