Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Art & Max

Art & Max

David Wiesner
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Clarion Books, 2010   ISBN: 978-0618756636

One day Art is busy painting a portrait when Max comes running up and he bumps into Art, sending Art’s paintbrush and palette flying. After barely avoiding a disaster, Art is not inclined to be particularly nice to Max, so when the little lizard says that he “can paint too,” Art tells him not to be “ridiculous.”

Luckily for Max, Art cannot stay angry with him, and the big lizard gives the little lizard a canvas and some brushes. As long as Max does not “get in the way” Max is willing to be accommodating.

When Max asks Art what he should paint, Art suggests that Max should paint him. Unfortunately - or fortunately depending on your point of view - Max does not fully understand what Art means, and chaos of the most incredible kind ensues.

This delightful book by the three times Caldecott Medal winner, Davis Weisner, is deliciously funny. At the same time it explores the idea that creating art can lead to all kinds of adventures. Though you and I are not likely to be transformed the way Art is, we might, through art, learn to look at the world in a new way.