cover image If Picasso Painted a Snowman

If Picasso Painted a Snowman

Amy Newbold, illus. by Greg Newbold. Tilbury House, $17.95 (36p) ISBN 978-0-88448-593-3

The Newbolds use the example of a snowman to drive home the idea that “not all artists paint the same.” With a cherubic hamster as guide, who wields paintbrushes and mugs for readers, Amy Newbold imagines how 17 famous artists might have painted a snowman, giving her husband a chance to try out each artist’s style. A large snowman cuddles two smaller ones, all wrapped up in a quilted blanket, in a Klimt-inspired spread; in a remake of Dalí’s The Persistence of Memory, flattened snowmen replace drooping clocks. Newbold keeps the text short and punchy (“Blam! Roy Lichtenstein’s snow hero saves the day!”), and she covers a range of artistic styles, from Monet’s impressionism to Klee’s abstract art and the “flat” images of Pueblo artist Pablita Velarde. A blank easel invites readers to contribute their own snowmen, and the book concludes with capsule biographies of the featured painters. The hamster’s antics can be a bit much (he’s shown with a bandage over a missing ear on the Van Gogh page), but in all it’s an inviting introduction to a range of important painters. Ages 6–12. (Oct.)