img_0358.jpgThis week I wanted to take a moment to highlight a great and fun book called Art Detection: Spot the Differences! by Doris Kutschbach that encourages young readers to take in and soak up art while spotting differences between real artwork and a forgery.  Follow along with the dog Carl (known as Charlie the Sleuth by his friends) who solves art crimes. He asks the reader to help him figure out his latest mystery and in doing so children will learn to appreciate some of the greatest paintings! Plus it is a nice way to expose kids to painting and art history.

We found this book during our latest visit to the local library and I knew right away we must borrow it.  My 6 year old daughter who has an artistic side and appreciates art in all its forms and loves the spot and find books was equally excited.

art detective coverWe loved this book because:

  1. it is a fun and clever way to introduce children to masters of art and painting in an engaging way
  2. kids naturally love to spot differences and you can use the book to play various games…who can find the most differences or who can do it “fastest”
  3. while there is not a lot of actual reading, it stimulates great conversation. Parents can praise the child for their efforts (“Wow, you found all 15 differences! You have eagle eyes. You stayed really focused!”to praise and build persistence); use the activity to teach about things that are the same and things that are different; and describe the various objects they spotted in the paintings.
  4. Plus did I mention it is a cool way to introduce your youngster to art??? You can use it to talk about the actually artist, talk about technique, colors, depth and dimension…possibilities are endless.

The list of works included:

  • The Sunday Stroll by Carl Sptizweg
  • A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat
  • The Moneychanger and his Wife by Quinten Massys
  • The Exotic Landscape with Monkeys Playing by Henri Rousseau
  • By the Sea by Paul Gauguin
  • Lunch in the Garden by Claude Monet
  • Still Life with Ginger Jar and Eggplants by Paul Cezanne
  •  Still Life with Parrot by Georg Flegel
  • Birds by Franz Marc
  • Barely in Leaf by Paul Klee
  • A Panel from the Grabow Altarpiece painted by Master Bertram
  • The Tower of Babel by Pieter Brueghel
  • Harem Garden by an Indian Painter
  • Loc at the Dolo on the the Brenta by Canaletto
  • The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein the Younger
  • Place Du Theatre in Paris by Camille Pissaro
  • Brandenburg Gate by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
  • Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose by John Singer Sargent
  • Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

In the back the reader (and parent) can find the solutions, plus a brief excerpt about each artist to further discussion.

by Prestel Publishing

Recommended ages: 6+ years 

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Written by

Nerissa Bauer

I am a behavioral pediatrician, consultant, child advocate and blogger. I am a wife, mommy to 2 amazing children and a golden retriever. Love cooking, travel, reading, tap and creating.