Come Look With Me: Latin American Art
Kimberly Lane, author
Kimberly Lane is an art teacher at The School at Columbia University. She lives in New York City.
Read more about Kimberly.
- NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
- 2008 Américas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature commended list
- Amelia Bloomer Project Recommended List
School Library Journal
Twelve paintings by a dozen 19th and 20th-century artist from several countries are represented in full-color, high-quality reproductions. Each painting is paired with questions to pique discussion, a brief biography of the artist, and an explanation of the work's symbolism or meaning.
Like other Come Look With Me titles, this large-size volume, focused on Latin American art of the last two centuries, offers both art history and interactive exercises. Each spread features a clearly reproduced color artwork by a well-known artist such as Frida Kahlo or Xul Solar paired with brief text about the artist's life, techniques, favorite themes, and influences. Simple questions, accessible to a wide age range, appear in larger type at the top of each biography. Straightforward suggestions to help viewers study the contents of each image ("What kind of creature do you see in this painting?") mix with more imaginative queries ("If you were in this painting, what sounds could you hear?"). Readers may need help with political and cultural references, but the clear, approachable questions will easily guide them back to the experience of looking at and responding to each image. This attractive introduction to Latin American art and culture should attract plenty of browsers as well as young researchers.
Part of the Come Look With Me series, this title introduces middle readers to 12 Latin American artists through full-page color reproductions of their artwork and thought-provoking, interactive questions, brief biographies, and information about hte artworks. Such well-known artists as José Guadalupe Posada, Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo, Frida Kahlo, and Fernando Botero, as well as artists from Puerto Rico, Cuba, and countries in South America, are featured in this attractive, large-format book.
Arts and Activities
Students in our schools should be made aware of the rich traditions associated with Latin American art. This book provides an introduction to more modern works reflecting political, social and cultural themes in Latin American art. The artists whose works are included are: Xul Solar, José G. Posada, Diego Rivera, Amelia Pelaez, Rufino Tamayo, Tarsila do Amaral, Frida Kahlo, Joaquin Torres-Garcia, Ramon Frade, Juan Sanchez, Fernando Botero and Diego J.H.Mendez.
These artists come from many countries, cultures and language areas. Their art reflects a shift in thinking about the nature of art. Each of the 12 artists is represented by a full-page color reproduction and general information about the artwork. A brief biography of the artist is included. A series of questions introduce the discussion of each artist's work.
All in all, this is an excellent introductory text for upper-elementary and middle-school students. It can provide an excellent starting point for further explorations into Latin American art.
Library Media Connection
After giving suggestions for ways that parents and teachers can use this book with children, the author takes a look at 12 Latin American artists and one each of their paintings. Following the same format for each, author Kimberly Lane features a painting with three to four questions that the reader might answer after examining each painting. She then moves on to give a brief outline of the artist's life and his or her artistic style in general. Each page of text ends with a focus on the featured painting. The book concludes by suggesting that the reader return to the book and examine the paintings again on a new day with fresh questions in mind. For example, "What questions would you ask the artist about this work if he or she were here?" or "If you could go inside one of these artworks, which one would you choose?" I found this book fascinating and the suggested questions helped me to look at the artwork with more focus. I can see this book being very useful for art teachers when they are introducing art from different cultures.
Come Look With Me: Latin American Art is the latest addition to the Charlesbridge art appreciation series for children. Kimberly Lane, as art teacher at The School at Columbia University, curates a tour of twelve Latin American art works explaining how the artists became painters and some of the goals they tried to achieve through their art.
Lane's choices date from 1895 to 2004 but are mainly clustered in the 1930s and 1940s. Full-page color reproductions are each accompanied by a few paragraphs about the artist's personal background (often including his or her social consciousness); aesthetic influences on his or her work; and the painting itself. Titles are respectfully given in the exact language used by the institutional or individual owners of he original works.
Heading each page of text are questions that draw young readers into the experience of the work. "Who are these skeletons and what are they doing?" they are asked to consider of Calavera Las Bicicletas by José Guadalupe Posada (1895). "If you painted someone you loved, who would you choose?" they are asked while viewing Juan Sánchez' memorial of his mother, Mujer Eterna: Free Spirit Forever (1988).
Lane's discussion of a Diego Rivera mural at City College of San Francisco relates his role in the Mexican mural movement. Of Rufino Tamayo, she points out the influence of Picasso and Cézanne on the artist. Three of the twelve paintings are by women: a self-portrait by Mexican Frida Kahlo, Brazilian Tarsila Do Amaral's Fernand Léger-influenced painting of the Central Railroad of Brazil, and cubist still life by Cuban Amelia Peláez.
At the end of the book, readers are instructed to go back and look at the paintings again , with a new set of questions, including "If you could go inside one of these artworks, which one would you choose? What would it be like to be inside this work?" Kimberly Lane's questions are stimulating and fun for young minds an offer opportunities to explore cross-currents between history and art, as well as between Latin American and European artists. Although designed for classroom use, precocious young historians and potential art critics will find plenty to mull over and delight in on their own.
Kimberly Lane shares her knowledge of teaching art criticism and the "guided looking" approach of Gladys S. Blizzard to help children enjoy art from Latin America. She introduces readers to biographical information about many artists from Latin America, and presents open-ended questions for teachers and parents to use in guiding children to interpret the artworks from this region. The book includes well-known artists like Diego River, José Guadalupe Posada, Rufino Tamayo, and Frida Kahlo, as well as artists that might be new to readers like Xul Solar, Amelia Peláez, and Diego Isaias Hernandez Mendéz. This is a great resource for teachers and parents who want to introduce children to this rich art world.
Ages: 5 and up
Page count: 32
9 3/4 x 9 3/4