I am falling head over heels with the work of John Scieszka. Lane Smith’s work is already close to my heart – but combining these two talents into one book (which has thankfully happened on more than one occasion) is true book bliss.
In Seen Art?, Scieszka takes images from the Museum of Modern Art and splashes them throughout a gorgeous landscape book so we can do some seriously drooling (and, of course, so kids can witness the splendour). Trailing us through this collection is a whimsical little character who is looking for . . . well, he’s looking for his friend Art. The only problem is, no one seems to understand what he’s talking about.
‘Have you seen Art?’ he asks a lady walking up Fifth Avenue. But before he can add ‘I was meant to meet him here on the corner of Fifth and Fifty-third’, the lady asks ‘MoMA?’
‘Uh . . . no, he’s just a friend.’ says our art-seeking fellow.
And so begins a series of well-meaning adults, showing our fellow through the kaleidoscope of stunning (and very famous) artworks on the walls of the Museum of Modern Art.
Illustrations by Lane Smith bring this achingly beautiful book to life, and striking typography and design take it to a level above and beyond your average picture book. Children will love the warm humour of the text, the cleverness of the storyline and the fascinating peeks at a beautifully-curated selection of artwork. Adults will just love it all.
Notes on the artwork are provided at the end of the book, as is a gorgeously satisfying story ending. Call me greedy, but it’s a bonus that children will also be entranced by this book. One of my favourites in a very long time and a must for serious collectors.
Seen Art? is published by The Museum of Modern Art/Viking