“I spy with my little eye something beginning with A…” Even the very youngest art lovers can spy out the apple in Magritte’s Son of Man through the zigzags in de Geest’s Portrait of a Child. Interact with twenty-six of the world’s greatest paintings in this educational, entertaining, and beautiful pairing of a classic game with timeless art.
The perfect art book for small children is one that opens their eyes and makes them want to keep looking. I Spy, surely the most cultured alphabet book around, is just right. Parents can leave it out on a table and let it work its magic silently. Its cover picture–René Magritte’s Son of Man, a painting of a man in a Homburg and overcoat who inexplicably has a green apple where his face ought to be–has just the right touch of whimsy to grab a toddler’s attention, but older children (up to about age 80) should love it, too. Inside, there are 26 paintings: large, clear, colorful, and one to a page. Across from each plate is an alphabet letter, shown both capitalized and lowercase, and the words, “I spy with my little eye something beginning with…” The Magritte starts off the alphabet (A is for apple, of course), and then Henri Rousseau’s Football Players keeps the ball rolling, so to speak. Lucy Micklethwait includes wonderful selections of pictures children can dream about, including an Indian painting, Workmen Building the Palace of Fatehpur Sikri (E for elephant), Goya’s incomparable Don Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuniga (M for magpie), and Miró’s Woman and Bird in the Moonlight (S for star). Click to see the spread with Marc Chagall’s The Bride and Groom of the Eiffel Tower (V for violin). Compilation and text © 1992 by Lucy Micklethwait. Permission by Greenwillow Books. (Preschool and older) –Peggy Moorman