Monday, January 10, 2011

Top 10 of 2010: Art and Max Art... with Chalk

Art & MaxArt and Max is the tale of two lizards, Art, who insists on being called, "Arthur" and Max, a new artist. Max wants to learn to paint and so he paints Art, literally. Art doesn't like being painted and as he shows his anger, the paint falls off. After numerous attempts to fix this problem- and numerous examples of different art mediums being shown to the reader, Art is reduced to a line drawing. The line drawing unravels. Max has to end up recreating Art.
This book was a little hard for me to get into. The text layout is a little confusing. If you are going to share this with an early reader, I would suggest a strong book introduction before reading.
The "art" in this story is amazing! In fact, I think it could win a medal today in the Caldecott awards. If so, this would be David Wiesner's fourth Caldecott.
Unless of course this one beats him out:
ChalkI found Chalk by Bill Thomson to be a better story line ---even though it didn't have any words. In this wordless picture book, three children find a bag of chalk. When the draw with the chalk, their drawings come alive. This is fun and helpful (the sun they draw stops the rain) until a little boy draws a T-REX!! They use their chalk to solve the problem in a clever way.

We created some of our own art after reading these two books. If I was a good mom, I would have let Logan paint me, like Max paints Art. (See mommy blogger who did just this).
But instead, I combined the ideas of the two books and we traced Logan on large paper and then tried out all kinds of artistic mediums to color/paint him.
We used crayon to trace him. I had wanted to use chalk but it wouldn't work on our paper (which was recycled wrapping paper). Then the crayon wouldn't show up so we traced that with paint. I let him use finger paints, tempera paints, markers. We even tried out a variety of brushes- including a toothbrush!
Then Logan decided to add stickers to his art work. He loved having a life size art project.

So, the American Library Awards will be announced today. I'm pulling for Chalk. (I think. I also REALLY like City Dog, Country Frog and How Rocket Learned to Read). But if I had to put my money on one, I think I'd vote for Chalk! Do you have a prediction?

I'm linking this up to stART and What My Child is Reading.


  1. I noticed neither of these books made it, but they are both terrific books.

  2. Thanks for these two book recommendations. My nephew is in the middle of a huge art study and these both sound like they would be great for this unit. This week we are also featuring Snowy Day and a wonderful winter/snow giveaway. Thanks for visiting and we hope you will stop by to enter. :) joyce

  3. I didn't get Chalk, because I thought that it might be too scary for daughter. We both found Art and Max OK in story and interesting in illustrations. Too bad it didn't win this year. Thanks for joining WMCIR!