Sunday, December 18, 2011

Secret Sequel? A Child's Book of Prayer in Art

One of my favorite book treasures is A Child's Book of Art by Lucy Micklethwait. It's fairly popular amongst homeschoolers, I believe because it's recommended by the Sonlight curriculum. Anyway, imagine my joy when I eventually discovered there was a "sequel," also done by Micklethwait, called A Child's Book of Play in Art. For some reason, the second book is much less celebrated than the first, despite being equally ideal for talking to little kids about a variety of concepts, not to mention exposing them to a wide array of art styles. 

Anyway, I always thought the second book had a rather odd title, because according to marketing law, the sequel should have been named something like A Child's Book of More Art. Well, I just found another book by the same publisher (Dorling Kindersley) from the same era (early 1990s) called A Child's Book of Prayer in Art, devised by Sister Wendy, and I think the mystery of the odd title is solved. 

I suspect there was a DK editor out there who saw a possible series idea in these A Child's Book of X in Art, but for some reason, the concept never really took off. Anyway, the Prayer book is organized differently than the other two, but it is just...I swear it's made me cry it's so beautifully presented and written, and I am a grinch. Reading this book gives me the same feeling I got watching Archbishop Desmond Tutu on The Daily Show: Everybody is wonderful, and everything is gonna be all right.

Sister Wendy says that looking at art is one way of keeping in touch with god.
The book is fiercely non-denominational while still being deeply spiritual. There are Christian images in the book, but for the pages on Choosing Heaven, Sister Wendy chose a picture of Charon crossing the Styx, rather than something about Jesus, which might have been the obvious choice.

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