LONGLIST REVIEW: Bob the Artist

Bob the bird is teased because he has skinny legs. He tries all sorts of things to change this- going to the gym, eating lots, even disguising them- but there they remain, skinny as ever.

On a long walk, no doubt pondering his problem, Bob passes an art gallery, goes inside...and is INSPIRED! He paints his beak in the style of different artists, proving that being different, standing out from the crowd, is actually to be celebrated.

This is one of those beautiful picture books which works in so many ways! From discussing how hurtful personal comments can be to celebrating individuality, it can be used to explore how bullying makes people feel. Bob turns the bully's attention from his legs to his beak- and yet once everyone is full of admiration for his style and individuality, he has the confidence to leave his beak red from time to time- and is proud of his legs because they are part of what makes him him!  

'Bob the Artist' also encourages us to appreciate different artists. Matisse and Pollock are named and their works could be further explored and enjoyed. Paintings in the art gallery could also be investigated- works looking like those of Picasso, Joan Miro, Piet Mondrian, Bridget Riley sit alongside Matisse and Pollock. Any of these would be fun to experiment with. 

Children could also create characters as Marion Deuchars has done. The cat is made using fingerprints and she has, in fact, written a book called 'Let's Make Some Great Fingerprint Art' with a familiar face on the cover! Can't wait to explore that one!

Bob the Artist       Marion Deuchars

Laurence King    ISBN: 978-1780677712