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The Shape Game
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Anthony Browne is the author of "Willy the Wizard", "The Night Shimmy", "Gorilla" (winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Kurt Maschler Award), "Zoo" (winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal), "Voices in the Park" (winner of the 1998 Kurt Maschler Award and shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal). Anthony was also the winner of the 200 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration.

About the Author

Anthony Browne is the acclaimed author and illustrator of such prize-winning bestsellers as Gorilla (winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Kurt Maschler Award), Willy the Wizard and Zoo (winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal). In 2009, Anthony was appointed Children's Laureate, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the world of picture books. Voices in the Park won the 1998 Kurt Maschler Award and was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal. Anthony was also the winner of the 2000 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration. Anthony has also written the immensely popular titles King Kong (1994), My Dad (2000), My Mum (2005) and My Brother (2007).

Reviews

K-Gr 4-Browne's latest foray into the fantastic is part autobiography and part outgrowth of his residency at the Tate Britain Gallery where he conducted workshops for inner-city children. In the opening scene, the adult Browne sits at his drawing board, sketching his family. He goes on to describe the day "that changed my life forever"-the one when his long-suffering mother took her three "boys" (Anthony, his brother George, and their dad) to an art museum. The palette reflects the mood of the father and sons: it's brown. Young viewers who are looking closely will start to see shapes in the graffiti on the street and surprises in the museum's imposing facade, and Dad's juvenile humor will tickle their funny bones. As the family tours the galleries, Browne uses a variety of techniques to maintain interest in the reproductions: labels explaining the symbolism, spot-the-difference comparisons, scary paintings coming to life, and family members appearing inside the frames. As the foursome progress and the mood lifts, the colors brighten, reaching a dazzling intensity at the riverfront climax. The piece de resistance is mother's game, played on the train ride home, in which one brother draws a shape and the other turns it into something. Endpapers provide plenty of samples, but children will be reaching for their markers before the book is closed. Not since Bob Knox's The Great Art Adventure (Rizzoli, 1993; o.p.) has museum going been so much fun.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"Anthony Browne . . . sublime master of the visual pun." -- "Independent on Sunday"

"For sheer illustrative wit, Anthony Browne is unsurpassed." -- "Times"

"Browne's illustrations are among the most distinctive and surreal of any children's artist. A beautiful tribute to a very special dad in a dressing gown." -- "The Scotsman" on My Dad

"Delightfully simple but visually impish." -- "The Literary Review"
" Anthony Browne . . . sublime master of the visual pun." -- "Independent on Sunday"
" For sheer illustrative wit, Anthony Browne is unsurpassed." -- "Times"
" Browne's illustrations are among the most distinctive and surreal of any children's artist. A beautiful tribute to a very special dad in a dressing gown." -- "The Scotsman" on My Dad
" Delightfully simple but visually impish." -- "The Literary Review"

The family that visited animals in Zoo here takes a trip to London's Tate Britain museum. Browne, as the museum's writer-and-illustrator-in-residence, taught children from inner-city schools using the Tate's resources, and this book-offering a clever and quirky visual interpretation of some of the museum's offerings-grew out of that experience. Though the young narrator, his brother and constantly wise-cracking father agree (rather reluctantly) to accompany the boy's mother to the museum on her birthday, he comments that "it turned out to be a day that changed my life forever." As Mom poses questions that encourage the others to analyze the images and action in various works of art, the family is drawn into the paintings-quite literally. Real and surreal events collide as the family members replace characters in the art, and the goings-on within and beyond the frames becomes comically blurred. On the way home, Mom teaches the boys what the narrator calls "a brilliant drawing game," in which one person draws a shape ("any shape, it's not supposed to be anything, just a shape") and the next person adds to it, changing it "into something." The endpapers present examples of some of the lively images that can result from this inviting exercise. This personal, playful introduction to art and drawing may well give readers a fresh take on both. Ages 5-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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