Art & Max

Fans of David Wiesner will be happy to know that his latest creation is as zany as anything Wiesner has cooked up yet. After all, this is a book about lizards and paint brushes. Unlike Flotsam or Sector 7, however, Art & Max has words. Funny words. Kind of cartoony words. Thankfully, the story, like most of Wiesner’s books, is told first and foremost through art. School Library Journal: “Underlying this tale of a feisty friendship between two lizards is a thought-provoking exploration of the creative process. Readers first encounter Arthur rendering a formal portrait of a stately reptile… Frenetic Max dashes into the scene; he also wants to paint, but lacks ideas. Self-assured Art suggests, ‘You could paint me.’ Max’s literal response yields a more colorful Art, but the master’s outrage causes his acrylic armor to shatter. His texture falls in fragments, leaving an undercoating of dusty pastels vulnerable to passing breezes. Each of Max’s attempts to solve Art’s problems leads to unexpected outcomes, until his mentor is reduced to an inked outline, one that ultimately unravels. Wiesner deftly uses panels and full spreads to take Max from his ‘aha’ moment through the humorous and uncertain moments of reconstructing Art. Differentiated fonts clarify who’s speaking the snippets of dialogue. Wielding a vacuum cleaner that soaks up the ruined scales, Max sprays a colorful stream, à la Jackson Pollock, that lands, surprisingly, in a Pointillist manner on the amazed lizard… Funny, clever, full of revelations to those who look carefully–this title represents picture-book making at its best.” Giggle factor: high. Adult enjoyment: likely. Illustrations: four jelly jars.

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~ by kaychubbuck on October 22, 2010.

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