At once ridiculous and sublime, If da Vinci Painted a Dinosaur is magnetic. Which dinosaur will be featured in whose painting? Quick, turn the page!
Amy Newbold, author, and Greg Newbold, illustrator, follow up If Picasso Painted a Snowman with this volume combining a herd of historic and imaginary dinosaurs included in 19 famous artists’ familiar paintings: Degas’ ballerinas as dinosaurs en pointe in pink tutus, the immense claw of a Gigantosaurus for Edvard Munch’s Scream, and seven types of dinosaurs playing jazz in an Aaron Douglas painting (so appealing). Or you might resonate to the dainty Gallimimus dancing through a Harrison Begay two-dimensional painting.
If the artists are unfamiliar, short but pithy bios in “Meet the Artists” give the reader springboards for seeking out more information. In fact, this book will spark research into dinosaurs, artists, paintings, and drawing.
A small mouse scurries through the pages, stopping often to draw his (or her) own dinosaur. A section in the back matter is devoted to “Advice for Artists.” Who can resist using big, familiar shapes to create your own dinosaur portraits? (For classroom use, show this book, talk about how the art differs from the original, and read more about how paleoartists draw and color dinosaurs from scientific evidence in Catherine Thimmesh’s book, Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled.)
This reader also appreciated the guide to identifying the dinosaurs in the paintings. You know precisely which readers will respond to that information.
This is an inspired way to connect children to art and artists.
If Da Vinci Painted a Dinosaur
Amy Newbold, writer, Greg Newbold, illustrator
Tilbury House Publishers, 2018