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Teaching art appreciation in children need not be intimidating.  One of the principal tasks is to teach children to observe carefully, and “I Spy Animals in Art”, by Lucy Micklethwait, makes that a pleasure.

A selection of twenty paintings of diverse style, and from a variety of time periods, is presented as a backdrop for a game of eye spy.  The child can search for a lamb in Jan Steen’s “The Poultry Yard”,  a mouse in Jan van Os’ “Fruit and Flowers in a Terracotta Vase”, or a snake in Isaac Oliver’s “Rainbow Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I”.

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While finding the animals is not overly challenging , it doesn’t seem to have diminished the enjoyment of the older children at our house.  This is a book for young and old to enjoy together, and would be equally suitable for quiet viewing alone, even for the pre-reader.

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