Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Draw what you see: The life and Art of Benny Andrews by Kathleen Benson –OPTIONAL

Benson, Kathleen Draw what you see: The life and Art of Benny Andrews 32 pgs, Clarion Books, 2015. $16.99 PICTURE BOOK/NON-FICTION
This picture book is the biography of artist Benny Andrew. He grew up with very little schooling and mostly hard work on a farm with his large family. His parents arranged for him to attend high school. After that he joined the military, he was able to attend college for art. From there his unique style, his inclusive philosophy, and his hard work led to a wonderful career in art.
I thought it was very interesting how Benny overcome a variety of obstacles, including discrimination, and didn’t stop there -by perusing the end of discrimination in the art world against African Americans and women. He also thought art was for everyone, and even worked with those in prison to bring art to them. Although it’s a picture book, its enough of a biography for a 3-4 grade student to create a project with, especially given the timeline in the back of the book. If you are creating a collection of artist biographies this would be a wonderful one to include, his art is historical, relatable, and very much a part of American art.  
EL  –OPTIONAL Reviewer: Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author.

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