The Shape Game
|Publisher:||Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)|
The same family that had such an enlightening experience in Anthony Browne’s Zoo is now going to an art museum, Mom’s choice for her birthday treat. But wisecracking Dad and their two sons are skeptical about how much fun this trip will be, and they’re not quite sure what to make of the art. (“What on earth is that supposed to be?” asks Dad.) But, with Mom’s help, once the boys start really looking at the paintings, they begin to find what pleasures they contain. Most of the family leave with a new appreciation of art—Dad is just never going to get it—as well as a sketchbook. On the trip home, Mom teaches the boys—and readers—a drawing game, which one of her sons (this book’s author) has been playing ever since.
This new book is the product of Anthony Browne’s engagement as writer-and-illustrator-in-residence at the Tate Britain in London. There he worked with a thousand children from inner-city schools, teaching literature using the resources in the gallery—and playing the shape game. In his artwork for the book, he surreally transforms, in his signature style, some famous paintings in the Tate’s collection.