Monday in the Park with George

June 12, 2006 @ 11:53 am | Filed under: Art, Books, Picture Book Spotlight

081094811701_aa240_sclzzzzzzz_Seurat and La Grande Jatte: Connecting the Dots by Robert Burleigh. Scott picked this up at the library and Beanie has been glued to it ever since. (When not standing nose-to-the-plastic in front of our butterfly house of horrors.) It’s a picture book about the famous Georges Seurat painting, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, 1884 (best known to people of my generation as the painting that so affected Cameron in the best high school movie ever).

“What do we notice first?” Burleigh asks, serving as our tour guide as we get up close and personal with the painting. He shares with us the history of La Grande Jatte and, in an engaging I-Spy-inspired manner, helps us notice every tiny detail. “How many of the following people, animals, and objects can you find?” Monkey on leash, check. Woman knitting, check. Beanie will pore over the pages for half an hour at a stretch. She knows this painting intimately now, and she will never forget it. Burleigh takes us beyond the painting into discussions of pointillism and Impressionism, of Seurat’s work process, of the use of color and light in art: discussions my older girls and I found fascinating. But for my five-year-old, the attraction of this book is in finding the treasures in the dots.

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2 Responses | | Comments Feed

  1. Great post (loved the caterpiller mystery, too!). We’ll look for this one at the library.
    “Can anyone find the worm with the muscular warts in this painting… Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Anyone?”

  2. You are right about the movie! “I recall, Central Park in fall…” I love the part where they zoom in so closely to the Seurat painting that all you can see are the tiny dots. It really is an amazing painting. We have not studied Seurat yet but when we do, I’ll have to check out the book.