Posts Tagged 'ocean'

On the Bookshelves

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Flowers are blooming, buds are popping out on the trees, and I’ve rounded up a fresh crop of excellent picture book art pairings that will put a spring in your step! From a blissfully confident giant squid to those witty talking crayons, here are four must-reads to add to your bookshelves. Each has Arturo’s seal of approval!

Giant Squid is pretty proud of everything he can draw. In fact, he thinks he is the BEST artist in the ocean. But a grumpy shark has a very different point of view. Squid’s clever solution to what could be a (shall we say uncomfortable?) situation will make young readers laugh, while caregivers may notice the illustrator’s sly nod to Picasso’s cubist style.

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I’m the Best Artist in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry is a perfect pairing with our beautiful Tiffany windows. Search for starfish, sea anemones, jellyfish, and even eels, while imagining what Giant Squid would think of the jewel-like glass. At home, make Giant Squid proud with your own squid art!

“Friends shape who we are,” and square, rectangle, circle and triangle are the best of pals. They play together, they support each other, and even when they squabble with each other, they know that their friendship is what matters most.

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Friendshape by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld is one of those books that puts a smile on your face and warms your heart. The seemingly simple illustrations are bursting with personality and are a perfect way to show young artists how shapes can work together in different configurations to create all kinds of pictures. One particular page spread shows the friends as a rocket blasting off to the moon, and even without the text, children instinctively understand what the illustrator has done. Read this delightful book in the Decorative Arts gallery and take a closer look at the Marshmallow sofa to see how circles have been transformed into a stylish place to sit. At home, download this printable and make your own shapes into the loveable characters from the book.

One of my favorite signs of spring is the birds chirping outside my window each morning. In Apples and Robins by Lucie Felix, we see not only birds outside the window, but apples hanging from the tree, worms munching through an apple, a birdhouse being built, and a basket for gathering apples.

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The genius of this book is clever cut-outs that transform into new pictures with the turn of a page. As with Friendshape, readers will discover how shapes become something more with a little bit of creativity. The bold, bright illustrations are inviting and the cut-outs will have children eagerly turning the pages to see what happens next. Why not bring this book along with you for a quick visit to Apple Harvest by Camille Pissarro? Then at home pull out the tried-and-true apple printing project to create your own apple art. This helpful post from the TinkerLab blog has great suggestions for setting up an apple printing station at home.

You might have thought that after Duncan’s crayons famously quit, that would be the last we’d hear of them. But they are up to their crazy antics again, and this time, all they want to do is come home! Tan crayon was eaten by the dog, Maroon crayon got lost in the couch, and Neon Red crayon was left behind at a hotel on summer vacation. In their postcards to Duncan, each crayon laments their troubles and either whines, wheedles, or begs for him to rescue them. Well, all except Neon Red who has set out on its own to find a way back in The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt.

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I’d like to think that the crayons would have a ball anywhere in the Museum, but it would be especially fun to visit places Neon Red sees on the journey home. New Jersey (according to Neon Red) has some great pyramids, but we all know that Ancient Egypt is the place to be for pyramids, mummies, and more. Visit our Ancient Egypt gallery and imagine Neon Red roaming through on a camel!

And for all the crayon-lovers out there, don’t miss the chance to hear Drew Daywalt talk about his colorful characters in person here at the DMA on May 22–get your tickets here!

Happy reading!

Leah Hanson
Manager of Early Learning Programs

 

Summer Reading Fun at the DMA

If you have or know any school-aged children, you know that the countdown to the end of school has begun! Dreams of afternoons at the pool, summer vacations to see grandparents, and lots of watermelon and ice cream are dancing through children’s heads. For me, one of the best parts of summer was the summer reading club at the library. I loved to read anyway, but getting rewards for reading? What a brilliant idea! (I just wish there was a summer reading club for grown-ups.) If reading by the pool isn’t your thing, why not bring a book to the DMA? Families are always welcome to read together in the galleries—on a bench or even on the floor.

To give you a jump start on your summer reading list, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite books along with suggestions for the perfect reading spot in the museum.

Clad in her swimsuit, cap and flippers, little Flora seems to be bursting with the need to move. Her muse? A pink flamingo who does not appreciate the little girl’s adoration! The two dance across the pages in this wordless book in a graceful ballet that reminds us that imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery and perhaps a way to begin unlikely friendships. Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle is the perfect book for your little dancer, and would be a great choice to tote along to the DMA when the Mind’s Eye: Masterworks on Paper from David to Cezanne exhibition opens at the end of June. Several of the museum’s pieces by Degas will be on display, including these lovely dancers.

The push and pull of waves on the beach is irresistible at any age. In Wave by Suzy Lee, a little girl timidly approaches the edge of the water, then slowly gets wetter and wetter as she becomes more sure of herself. The wave takes on its own personality as it interacts with its little companion, and in a splash of watercolor resembling a Pollock painting, the two become the best of friends. Several views of the ocean are on display in the American galleries on Level 4. Perhaps the waves in Alfred Thompson Bricher’s Time and Tide can become your friends too!

Have you ever wondered where imaginary friends live before they join your family? In Dan Santat’s charming book The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, we discover the answer to this mystery. A little marshmallow-like creature patiently waits on an island far away for a child to imagine him into the world. But when no one chooses him, he bravely ventures forth on an adventure to find his person himself. Across the vast ocean, through crowded city streets, and finally perched high in a tree’s branches, our hero discovers a perfect friend waiting for him and learns that she has been thinking of him all along. Santat turns the idea of an imaginary friend on its head, and his color-saturated illustrations will make you wish you could have Beekle as your own unimaginary friend. Bring Beekle along for a visit to the Reves collection on Level 3 and search for Maurice de Vlaminck’s Bougival. The vibrant colors of this painting remind me of Beekle’s birthplace, and I can imagine him and his new friend tramping through these woods!

Beep, beep! Look out—fun is on the way! If your child loves everything that goes, Poem-mobiles: Crazy Car Poems by J. Patrick Lewis & Douglas Florian should be tops on your list. Douglas Florian has written some of my favorite poetry collections for children, and for this high speed volume, he’s teamed up with U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis. As soon as you open up to the first page, you know you are in for a wild ride. The table of contents looks like a bunch of blueprints, and the list of vehicles is sure to get some giggles. From “The Dragonwagon” to the “Eel-ectric Car,” these crazy car poems will ride their way right into your imagination. The rhythm and flow of the language is just right for kids, and Jeremy Holmes’ illustrations are so involved, you’ll get lost in the pictures. Tow this book straight to the Hoffman galleries later this month and find John Chamberlain’s Dancing Duke. Chamberlain uses car parts and materials found in junkyards to create his fantastical sculptures.

If you can’t get enough of stories in the galleries, join us for story time this summer! Each Tuesday in June and July at 1:00 p.m. Education staff will lead story time, DMA-style. We’ll read stories, look at art in the galleries, and do hands-on activities. Story time is free and open to all ages.

Artworks shown:

  • Edgar Degas, Ballet Dancers on the Stage, 1883, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Franklin B. Bartholow
  • Alfred Thompson Bricher, Time and Tide, c. 1873, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Mayer
  • Maurice de Vlaminck, Bougival, c. 1905, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection
  • John Chamberlain, Dancing Duke, 1974, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Dr. and Mrs. Harold J. Joseph in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Max Walen

Leah Hanson
Manager of Early Learning


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