Pippin Paints: A Portrait by Charlotte Mei

Pippen is a dog. Like all dogs, he enjoys doing dog-type things: writing in his journal, philosophising and, of course, painting. With his high opinion of himself, he has the perfect subject to paint…himself. When he starts to compare his own self-portrait with those his friends have done, he becomes frustrated and this leads to a discovery of artists he knew little about.

I’m quite a fan of this type of book – a narrative that wraps knowledge through its core. The works of Seurat, Degas, Picasso and others introduced through the narrative. What’s not to love about a picture book that does that? Charlotte Mei provides playful illustrations that contrast with the fine art at the heart of the book.

Now for the teacher bit. This is the perfect book to hook young children into learning about fine art. Most children start to develop themselves as artists by drawing portraits of themselves and those around them, so the focus on this is quite clever. For anyone hoping to develop their understanding of art, it is a joy to to see how much is packed into one book. Mediums are discussed, abstract is presented and techniques like pointillism is shared with the reader.

Let your children dream, let them become artists.

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