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To Be an Artist

by Maya  Ajmera and John D. Ivanko

Published by SHAKTI for Children / Charlesbridge, 2004
32 pages
ISBN: 1-57091-503-2

Ages 4-8

Photographs of children from all over the world engaged in a wide range of artistic endeavors work in conjunction with a multilayered text to explore many ways of being an artist. The large, boldface type on each page spread offers a broad statement about one way of being an artist (“To be an artist means making music—playing drums of all shapes and sizes . . . or blowing on horns and flutes . . . ”). Text in a smaller font on each page expands on that type of art, offering more information on music, dancing, drawing, painting, theater, and more. The photographs serve to underscore the many variations for each type of artistry: drums look different from one nation to another, for example, as do traditional dances. But they also emphasize the joy that art in its many forms brings to children regardless of where they live, as well as the need to express human creativity shared by all cultures. While it would have been helpful to label the locales in each photograph by more than just country name (so as not to imply there is no variation within each nation), the lack of greater specificity is a small oversight. CCBC categories: The Arts.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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