Touch the Art series are stories told through well-known paintings. I love the concept that Julie Appel and Amy Guglielmo have created! Children get to pet, pull, and stroke their way through art history. These are sturdy board books, but not intended for children under 36 months due to the delicate pieces often added to the art. (Of the two books I had the chance to review, I would share Count Monet's Lilies with a mature 2 year old, but I think Find King Henry's Treasure would be too risky.) The final pages show the paintings again and include information about the artist, location of the artwork, and information about the artist and artwork. It gives just the right amount of information!
Count Monet's Lilies introduces children to the popular movement of Impressionism through the work of nine artists in this counting book. Children count the objects in the paintings as instructed by the rhyming text.
"Walk through the park and count the trees. Touch the bumpy bark and feel the gentle breeze."
The paintings and artists in Count Monet's Lilies will be familiar to many! Though the artists and paintings are primarily considered to be Impressionism, Henri Rousseau and Vincent Van Gogh represent Post-Impressionism.
Find King Henry's Treasure is another fabulous book. This tells the story of a dragon who was trying to steal the royal jewels. My daughter just loved everything about the story. I especially liked that the dragon was actually Lady Abigail's pet! Not only that, but it was also amusing that though he was accused of stealing, nothing was actually missing because the dragon loves to play with shiny things.
Imagine the history lesson you can teach with this book! You can touch and teach the art, but you can also teach about some of the royalty in the paintings, including Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I!
I truly think these are uniquely wonderful books. I am so excited to introduce my sister, an artist, to these books since she is expecting her first child. Touch the Art books are not just for artists though. They are for all of us who want to introduce our young children to real art in a way they can understand and enjoy-through stories! The back of the book also informs the reader of which museum the art is located, so it'd be a great way to tell a child they are going to a museum, especially if they were about to see a painting from the book. If you are interested in these, you may also want to check out the other titles in the Touch the Art series.
Big thanks to Sterling Publishing for providing me with these two books for review purposes.