Almost Famous Daisy!

Richard Kidd, Author
Richard Kidd, Author Simon & Schuster $16 (0p) ISBN 978-0-689-80390-1
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-7112-1070-7
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-613-73492-9
Hardcover - 28 pages - 978-1-84507-709-9
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Splashy visuals that play off of famous paintings give this book a strong surface appeal, but undeveloped themes and a host of tangents muddy the text. An art competition to paint ""your favorite things"" sends Daisy and her dog Duggie off in search of inspiration, and they speed, seemingly arbitrarily, through St. Remy, Rouen, Vitebsk, Tahiti and New York, soaking up atmosphere and rubbing shoulders with Van Gogh, Monet, Chagall, Gauguin and Pollock. Kidd's vivid illustrations ingeniously blend painting and collage to simulate the artists' styles and highlight the modern interlopers' adventures; Daisy's postcards home show the original images. Although subtle visual jokes abound as Daisy and Duggie wend their black-and-white way through the exotic settings, the wit seems aimed principally at adults and the narrative logic is elusive. For recent books that spoof art in a more cohesive and child-friendly fashion, see Thacher Hurd's Art Dog (Children's Forecasts, Dec. 19, 1995) or Mary Jane Auch's Eggs Mark the Spot (Feb. 12). Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
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