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ABDO Checkerboard Cool Art book for Middle Schoolers???

Cool Collage: The Art of Creativity for Kids! by Anders Hanson is part of ABDO’s Checkerboard How-To Library Cool Art, copyright 2009. At first glance I dismissed this title as strictly elementary – albeit an excellent resource for elementary.  Then something unusual happened. While my art teacher, Keene Slaton, was waiting for me, I asked him to glance at this title and give me his opinion. He loved it and wanted to share why you should have it in your middle school collections as well as elementary.

This 32-page title is crammed with interesting facts and suggestions. The activities will appeal to boys as well as girls – particularly the "Collage Battles." The historical aspect of collages and Picasso and Braque’s  influence on the public seeing collage as art is important to art classes. Did you know that the word collage comes from the French word coller, which means "to glue" and that collage has been around for thousands of years? 

Keene was impressed with the good technical compositions of this title and it’s contempary approaches – especially the "Funny Faces project." The "puppy love" project for animals will appeal to younger students. The "landscape project" will appeal to older students and I believe Keene will be doing this project soon with students. Perhaps we’ll collaborate with the geography teachers.
I have taught collage to elementary students after reading books by Eric Carle and Leo Lionni. I could have benefitted from this title then. Upon Keene’s recommendation, I went back and really read Cool Collage. I agree that there is quite a bit of substance to this deceptively simple looking title. My middle schoolers are already reading over my shoulder and asking when they can check it out.

Now we’d like to see the rest of the series including:

Cool Calligraphy
Cool Collage
Cool Drawing
Cool Painting
Cool Printmaking
Cool Sculpture


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