Perfect Picture Book Friday – Can You Find It?

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday . It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because Ms. Hill reminded me of this book when she commented that “Naughty Bus” (a picture book I reviewed a couple of weeks ago) reminded her of the “I Spy” books. I also saw that some people in other posts, have commented that they like books that talk about art. This book does both!

The Metropolitan Museum of Art : Can You Find It?

By Judith Cressy

40 pages ages 6+

Published by Harry N. Abrams on November 1, 2002

Theme/Topic – Art and Imagination

Opening and Synopsis – “The next time you go to a museum, play the “Can You Find It?” game. You’ll need a partner. Together, stand in front of a painting. One of you should find the details and say, “I see a man who looks like a rock,” and the other should look for the man who looks like a rock -or whatever detail it is – until it’s found.”

Kids can learn to look at and think about art by playing an “I Spy” game. For example the picture on the front of the book is “View of San Francisco, Number 2” by Peter Saul. You are supposed to find 6 ships, 3 palm trees, 3 bridges, 1 wiggly road, 1 tunnel, 3 pagodas, 1 doughnut-shaped building and the #76 twice in the picture. There are paintings from the 15th century to modern times, paintings of all styles and from all over the world in the book.

Why I liked this book – This book is a really different kind of “I Spy” book. I really thought the art work was fascinating. Some of the “Can You Find It” challenges were…well, challenging. I think it is a good introduction to art for kids. It makes you notice things in the paintings you may not have. My favorite painting in the book is a portrait of Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales and Sir John Harington. It was painted by  Robert Peake sometime in the late 1500’s. I spy two hats. Do you?

Activities and Resources – Take your kids to an art museum and play “I Spy”! My parents actually do this with me and my sister and it’s a lot of fun. It even keeps my little sister’s attention. If you can’t get to an art museum you can look up paintings at an art museum on their website. You can take online tours of the National Gallery of Art HERE.

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog  HERE!

Categories: Age 6-9

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34 replies

  1. Wow, Erick, you come up with so many unique books I don’t know. Thank you. This book could be used in so many different lessons! Truly across the curriculum.

  2. Oh, what a great choice, Erik! Now i totally want to read this book! I love the idea of combining art with I Spy! I love puzzles and such, so always love the challenge of trying to find things, ever since I was little and searched the Hidden Picture in Highlights Magazine. I also grew up in NYC. When I was little, I HATED getting dragged to the Met, but now I appreciate it. I think it would have been way more fun if we played I Spy 🙂

    • Thanks! It’s a great book! 🙂 I think playing I Spy can make it much more interesting for young kids! My mom got me this book a couple years ago when she went to New York on a work trip. I always liked going to museums, even art museums. The Philadelphia Museum of Art even has a cool armor section!

  3. You find some truly fantastic books! I love art museums and I have played I Spy with my boys when we visit them. Have you seen the book I Spy An Alphabet In Art by Lucy Micklethwait? It’s a similar concept. Your book posts always end up reminding me of what I have on my own shelves 🙂

  4. Wow! We have others in this series, but I really need to get this one. It’s a way to get my son to appreciate art. I wish I’d known about it before we went to Italy this summer…

  5. This is a great selection Erik. What a fabulous way to introduce art work to children, when they probably would rather be at the zoo. We all want to introduce our kids and grandkids to art, and this book sounds lilke a good way to start. Again, you came up with a really great selection.

  6. What a cool book Erik! This book looks like one that would keep my boys busy for a nice, long, while! 🙂

  7. Love this book Erik! Like Pat said, you certainly know how to pick ’em. Love that you and your sister enjoy going to the Art Museum, good for you!

  8. It took me a while to find the second hat, but I found it! I love the idea of playing I Spy in an art museum. Thank you for that tip! This book looks like great fun, and a great learning experience. Combining the two is a sure way to success!

  9. Wonderful review! I love picture books. They bring out the kid in me!

  10. Hi Erik! I have seen other I Spy books, but never have come across this one. It looks like a book I would love. Thanks for sharing how your parents play I Spy at the museum. That’s a wonderful way to have fun plus learn at the same time.

    Thanks for including the link to the online National Gallery of Art also. I have been there physically, but never virtually (until today)! It looks like a really cool site. I am excited to see that they have a virtual exhibition of one of my favorite artists, Van Gogh.

    • Hello Ms. Edwards! I think that you’d like this book a lot!!! I haven’t been to the National Gallery of Art, but I have been to the Philadelphia Art Museum! 🙂 My Mom said there’s a Van Gogh exhibit there now….maybe we’ll go!

  11. This sounds fab, Erik. I love art and searching for things amongst pictures. What a great book for both parents and children.

  12. Looks like a fun interactive book! Will check it out.

  13. Erik, this book sounds wonderful. I will have to read it. When I taught computer, I had a link to the National Gallery of Art kids page. The students could chose that as an activity when they finished their lesson. It is a ton of fun and I can spend hours doing the activities. You probably have already checked it out, but some others may want to, so here is the link. Thanks for bringing this book to our attention.

    • That is an AWESOME website, I didn’t see it when I went to the main National Art Gallery page!! Thank you for telling me about it!! That was ccol that you taught computers and that you included art in your teaching 🙂

  14. This looks like a fun way to introduce art to children. Fun games make it even more interesting. Thanks for sharing this one.

  15. This book sounds wonderful to educate and introduce art without being boring. “I Spy” books are sooo popular in the classroom, so I’ll need to check this out. Great activities too!

  16. I love I Spy activities, and this is a great way to do that with some art education. What a great book!

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