More From That Elementary School Library
The second book I noticed last week was a little on the disappointing side. I picked up Luke's Way of Looking by Nadia Wheatley (with illustrations by Matt Ottley ) because it appeared to be about art. I get a lot of my knowledge of art from kids' books on the subject, especially if they have lots of pictures and aren't trying to tell me a whole lot, like Linnea in Monet's Garden. I took one look at Luke's Way of Looking and thought ol' Luke was going to do for some aspect of modern art what Linnea did for Impressionism.
Not so. The book isn't about art, but Luke's problems fitting in as an artist, which is a different thing altogether. He's a modern art kind of guy trapped in a rigid, color inside the lines kind of world. The book is described as "a story of empowerment" by the publisher because Luke goes to a museum where he sees works of art he can identify with. But then he returns to the same old school situation where nothing has changed, though for some unexplained reason his teacher is no longer on him for his antics with his paintbrush.
I don't really see how the book does what it sets out to do and wish the author and illustrator had bagged the lesson and just exposed readers to a type of art we might have been unfamiliar with.