When Quentin Blake became Children’s Laureate, one of his aims was to highlight the value and intelligence of children’s books — and their illustrations. In Tell Me A Picturehe shows the quality of paintings made for children and links them to the wider world of fine art through their infinite capacity to tell stories: a pleasure we all understand.
Here he chooses an alphabet of pictures with, as he explains, ‘story in common’. Some are by illustrators, others are by artists whose pictures you usually see in art galleries. From them Quentin Blake shows how stories can be told around any picture. Throughout the book his characters complement the paintings, introducing each image, pointing out details and asking questions. By initially presenting only the pictures — without the distractions of any information beyond the artist’s name — children are shown that they already have the skills to respond to the work of artists like Goya and Tintoretto.
Quentin Blake and the National Gallery also suggest ways to have fun with children on gallery visits, and end the book with delightful, brief accounts of the artists and pictures Blake has chosen for his ‘gallery’.
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