Saturday, February 14, 2015

[BOOK REVIEW] Seen Art? by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith

Title:  Seen Art?

Author:  Jon Scieszka

Artist:  Lane Smith

Genre:  Art / Humor / Surrealism

Year Published: 2005

Year Read:  2015


Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 4+  (Some Bizarre Imagery)

I have been reading many children’s books by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith for many years now, which includes “The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales” and “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs,” and I had enjoyed most of their stories!  So, when I finally stumbled upon one of their more recent collaborations, “Seen Art?” I just had to give this book a try!

The book starts off with a young boy looking for his friend Art and when he asked a lady about where his friend Art is, the lady said:

“MoMa?” asked the lady.

“Uh…no, he’s just a friend.”

“Just down Fifty-Third Street here.  In that beautiful new building.  You can’t miss it.”

So, the boy goes to the Museum of Modern Art to find his friend, but everywhere he goes, everyone keeps showing him a different painting or sculpture, instead of showing him where his friend is.

Will the boy be able to find his friend Art?

Read this book to find out!

Now, I will admit that when I first saw the cover of this book, I was thinking to myself that I might not like this book because the cover looked boring.  Man, this really tells me to not judge a book by its cover as I really enjoyed this book and all the creativity being put into it!  Jon Scieszka as always had done a brilliant job at writing this book as the humor is cute and witty and I loved seeing how the young boy is trying to tell everyone at the Museum that he only came there to look for his friend Art, but they keep on misunderstanding his concerns by showing him various artworks instead. Lane Smith’s artwork is truly surreal yet creative at the same time, as we are treated to having the real life artwork from the Museum of Modern Art pasted alongside Lane Smith’s own illustrations of the characters and it really brings out the creativity in this story!  I also loved the fact that there is information about each artwork being used in this book at the back of this book as it helped me distinguish who had done each artwork, such as recognizing Vincent Van Gogh’s famous painting “The Starry Night.”

Overall, “Seen Art?” is a truly creative book for children who enjoy the beauty of art and who are fans of Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith’s works!  I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate about this book, unless the artwork is a little too strange for some children.

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