Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Magritte's Imagination

Magritte's Imagination

Susan Goldman Rubin
Nonfiction Board Book
For ages 2 to 4
Chronicle Books, 2009   ISBN: 978-0811865838

Magritte was a Belgian surrealist painter who enjoyed creating art that challenged the imagination of his audience. His art greatly appeals to children because they are do not feel the necessity to challenge what they are seeing. They have a natural imagination that allows them to accept what they see.

Let us take a look at eleven of Magritte’s paintings. We begin with a painting that shows an old-fashioned train chuffing along with smoke coming out of its smokestack. It is not running on tracks though. Instead, it is steaming out of a fireplace.

Further on we see a painting of a woman who is riding a horse through a wood. At first the scene seems very ordinary, until one notices that the trees seem to be doing something very strange. Is the horse behind or in front of the trees?

Then there is a scene showing the façade of some houses and it is raining.  But wait, the rain is not made of drops of water. No indeed, it is made of men who are wearing black coats and black bowler hats.

Little children will surely be intrigued by the paintings that are showcased in this book. They may laugh at some of the strange things that they see, and they will enjoy exploring the paintings with their grownups.