Art Detective – a spot the difference with a difference

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Here’s a ‘spot the difference’ book with a real difference – focus on the fine detail, put your detective hat on and enter the world of masterpieces and forgeries.

Art Detective by Doris Kutschbach is an engaging introduction for children to some of the world’s greatest masterpieces. Join a clever little dog named Charlie the Sleuth as he sets off through an imaginary museum, where original paintings hang alongside the fakes. It’s the kids’ job to spot the differences and to do so, they’ll have to look very carefully at the detail of each painting.

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The joy of this book is in the detail – by examining the paintings closely, children will appreciate the differences between Monet’s tiny brush strokes and Gauguin’s blocks of brilliant colour or Seurat’s masses of small dots and van Gogh’s whirls of paint.

My children have pored over this book and interestingly, looked at each page long after the mistakes were spotted. I suspect that the broad collection of masterpieces – on one page you’re focused on an intricate still-life  by Georg Flegel and on the next a deceptively simple riot of colour and geometric shapes by Franz Marc – holds interest far longer than spot-the-difference books where every illustration is in the same style. For kids who want a little more about each painting and the artists, brief summaries are included at the back of the book (as well as the answers to the ‘mistakes’ in each painting).

Art Detective is suitable for children aged five years and over. Find it at Book Depository, with free delivery to Australia.

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Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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