The Elephants of Art: An Educational Art Story

Jo O’Mara. Archway, $14.95 paper (44p) ISBN 978-1-4808-2834-6
Toulouse, a gray mouse in a bowler hat, is confused by his art teacher’s reference to the “elements of art” and assumes that she meant the “elephants of art.” Setting out to find these important pachyderms, Toulouse meets three personable elephants, who are eager to share their knowledge: Linus, the elephant of line; Starla, the elephant of shape; and Rainbow, the elephant of color. Each elephant demonstrates the role played by his or her element and how the concepts work together to create art. “We came to show you how to put these pieces, or elements, together to make something beautiful,” explains Linus. O’Mara incorporates bright colors and eye-catching patterns into her collage-style graphics, filling the pages with lines, colors, and shapes that visually underscore what Toulouse is learning. Although some readers might be slightly confused by the literal manifestation of Toulouse’s misunderstanding, the book’s wordplay (including the connections between the elephants’ names and the concepts they represent) should help them remember the elements discussed. O’Mara, an art educator, packs a fair amount of information in this outing, the first in a planned series. Ages 2–up. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 02/27/2017
Release date: 11/01/2016
Genre: Children's
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