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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Little Girl’s Little Book of Art is an art history book for girls written and compiled by Kathryn Dixon. The author starts her journey through art history with Leonardo da Vinci, who lived in the 1400s, and proceeds through classical, impressionist and modern artists to Paul Klee who died in 1940. Each artist is introduced in a biography accompanied by either a self-portrait or a photograph. Their styles and subject matter, particularly with reference to art depicting infants, girls and women, are discussed, and the reader is shown details in pictures and artistic techniques to enhance her appreciation for each artist’s particular traits or trademark. It could be the use of light, or color, or how the artist signs their name or uses brushstrokes. While most of the artists represented in this art history book are men, Dixon also includes women artists who used young girls and women as their subjects.
Kathryn Dixon’s art history book, The Little Girl’s Little Book of Art, may be small compared to many art history tomes, but it’s chock filled with marvelous artwork. Dixon is gifted with an appreciation of, and enthusiasm for, art which she shares with her readers. The biographies are marvelous thumbnail sketches and, with the self-portraits, make the artists become so much more than just names. Her questions about the artwork she presents help the reader learn to appreciate the style and composition of each picture. I have read many art history books but found that Dixon had a lot to teach me, and I truly enjoyed myself as I learned to see pictures I’d ordinarily pass by in new ways. Dixon’s selection of paintings is inspired. While the majority of them are of little girls and young women, there are many selections which I had not focused on before and are simply marvelous. The Little Girl’s Little Book of Art is a beautiful, bold and big work that’s bound to get young readers inspired, and it’s highly recommended.