From ballet and punk rock, to photography, to weird and wonder- ful paper sculpture, this year’s top 10 arts books, reviewed in
Booklist from November 1, 2015, through October 15, 2016, will
bring the studio, gallery, and concert hall to your shelves.
Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois. By Amy Novesky. Illus. by Isabelle
Arsenault. 2016. Abrams, $18.95 (9781419718816). Gr. 1–3.
Beautifully scratchy, ink-splotched illustrations and evocative text bring abstract expressionist Louise Bourgeois’ childhood vividly to life.
Emma and Julia Love Ballet. By Barbara McClintock. Illus. by the author. 2016.
Scholastic, $16.99 (9780439894012). PreS–Gr. 1.
Mirrored narratives follow Emma, a little girl taking ballet, and Julia, a ballerina in a professional company, on a day filled with dancing.
The Haters. By Jesse Andrews. 2016. Abrams/Amulet, $18.95 (9781419720789).
Wes and Corey aren’t great musicians, but after they have an epic jam session with
drummer Ash at jazz camp, the trio embarks on a preposterous, raunchy, unofficial tour.
Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph. By Roxane Orgill. Illus. by Francis Vallejo.
2016. Candlewick, $18.99 (9780763669546). Gr. 5–8.
This collection of swingy poems and dynamic illustrations captures both the players
and the mood on the day Art Kane took an iconic photograph of 57 jazz greats on a Harlem stoop.
Let Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger. By Anita Silvey. 2016.
Clarion, $17.99 (9780547330129). Gr. 5–8.
Making excellent use of primary source materials, this lively, informative biography
introduces folksinger Pete Seeger, his life and activism, and some facets of American history that will likely be new to most children.
The Music in George’s Head: George Gershwin Creates Rhapsody in Blue. By Suzanne
Slade. Illus. by Stacy Innerst. 2016. Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek, $17.95 (9781629790992).
This celebration of the iconic Rhapsody in Blue introduces its composer and highlights
how the clackety-clack of the trains, jazzy Harlem tunes, and noise of the city influenced
Gershwin’s groundbreaking concerto.
Naked ’76. By Kevin Brooks. 2016. Carolrhoda/Lab, $18.99 (9781512404180). Gr. 9–12.
In the burgeoning 1970s London punk scene, 16-year-old Lili’s life changes when Curtis
asks her to be the bassist for his band, and she finds herself immersed in a tumultuous
relationship and the raw drive of punk.
Painting Pepette. By Linda Ravin Lodding. Illus. by Claire Fletcher. 2016. little bee, $17.99
(9781499801361). PreS–Gr. 2.
Josette Bobette wants a painting of her beloved pet rabbit, Pepette, so she wanders a
bustling 1920s Paris and asks some unnamed (but quite recognizable) artists to take on
Some Things I’ve Lost. By Cybele Young. Illus. by the author. 2015. Groundwood, $19.95
(9781554983391). PreS–Gr. 2.
Young’s intricate, imaginative paper sculptures unfurl from ordinary objects into increasingly bizarre, dreamlike shapes on brilliantly designed gatefold pages.
Still Life with Tornado. By A. S. King. 2016. Dutton, $17.99 (9781101994887). Gr. 8–11.
When artistically talented Sarah suddenly can’t draw anymore, past and future versions
of herself appear and help her piece together the truth at the heart of her crisis, and
though it initially seemed trifling, she discovers it’s much, much bigger.
TOP 10 ARTS BOOKS FOR YOUTH
Eyes of the World: Robert Capa,
Gerda Taro, and the Invention of
By Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos.
Mar. 2017. 304p. illus. Holt, $22.99 (9780805098358).
070. Gr. 7–12.
The team behind Sugar Changed the World
(2010) presents a fascinating look at the
evolution of photojournalism during WWII
backtracks to the Spanish Civil War, “the
prelude” to WWII, where Capa and Taro—
a romantic and professional team—made
names for themselves with their daring and
insightful pictures. Reproductions of these
powerful black-and-white photos appear
on almost every page, depicting the times
and the photographers’ individual styles;
political posters and magazine spreads further enhance the text. Rather ambitiously,
Aronson and Budhos address the escalating
tensions between socialist and fascist regimes,
the emergence of photographic news magazines and compact cameras, and the lives of
Capa and Taro into one seamless discussion.
Readers not only get a strong sense of who
these photographers were as people, they will
understand what made their pictures so special. Thoroughly researched and cited, the
text offers a unique perspective on WWII by
focusing on two expatriates unaligned with
a specific country. Detailed appendixes help
clarify the myriad political parties and historical figures who grace the text, as well as some
controversial topics raised. Dense but never
dull, this book exposes art and humanity in
history. —Julia Smith
Seeing Things: A Kid’s Guide to Looking
By Joel Meyerowitz.
2016. 80p. illus. Aperture, $24.95 (9781597113151).
770. Gr. 9–12.
Photographer Meyerowitz brings his expertise to this contemplative volume, which
encourages teens to take a closer, more
thoughtful look at photographs. Each of the
30 photos he presents are beautiful, though
to the untrained eye, they might not seem
remarkable. Meyerowitz’s essays, however,
offer targeted analysis of each photo, pointing out its significance as well as photography
tricks used to achieve each shot, such as the
graceful echoing of a curve in a photo of an
elephant and its trainer, or the way a black-and-white photo of mural painters blurs the
distinction between the painted wall and the
world around it. Each essay invites readers to
pay careful attention to narrative and compo-