Reviewed by Emma Brailsford
Being a bookworm myself, I adore sharing books with children and hopefully, contributing to their life-long pleasure of reading.
I was delighted to receive a copy of ‘Art and Joy: Best Friends Forever’ by Danielle Krysa, author of ‘How To Spot An Artist’. ‘Art and Joy: Best Friends Forever’ is currently published as a hardback book and, in my opinion, a hardback book for children is always preferable as it is a little more durable and feels a little extra special. The front cover of the book was striking: a pink background with ‘Art and Joy’ written in big, bold letters, each one depicting a hue of the rainbow, and I instantly knew that this was going to be a book full of colourful, inspiring illustrations. The front cover featured two characters: a personified green, overflowing craft box and a glittery walking ball, characters I now know to be ‘Art’ and ‘Joy’.
From the moment I opened the book, I was mesmerised by the bold, bright illustrations. I loved the inclusion of real-life household objects and craft materials depicted as a range of imaginative items and characters; the illustrations immediately got my creative juices flowing and the children I was sharing the book with, asking to get out the craft box! I particularly enjoyed the use of texture in the illustrations which really brought objects such as pasta bows, paper plates and corrugated card to life and gave a ‘3D’ sense to the page.
‘Art and Joy: Best Friends Forever’ tells of the story between two creative, artistic friends: Art and Joy. We get to see the characters using their individual style to make unique pieces of art out of things they find in their environment, alongside their imaginations. Sadly, one character in the book, the ‘Art Bully’, tries to knock Art’s confidence and says that some of the creations are no good. Luckily, Joy does not hear the ‘Art Bully’ and encourages Art to continue expressing all the creative ideas inside them. I really enjoyed the themes of the book: expressing creativity, embracing uniqueness and having pride in your own work, not worrying about whatever anyone else thinks – characteristics that I believe are really important to instil in young children today.
This book is aimed at children aged five and over but I think children aged three and over could enjoy this book, both the vivid, imaginative illustrations and the story. It particularly appeals to children who enjoy arts and crafts and creative activities and those who perhaps are beginning to think that there is a right or wrong way to draw or paint as this book clearly celebrates having your own unique style. I would recommend this book to others, and I would not hesitate in buying ‘Art and Joy: Best Friends Forever’ as a gift for a child as it marries the joy of a good book with creative inspiration, even containing craft projects ideas at the end of the story.
The book is published in hardback, contains 40 pages and has the dimensions: 25.5 x 25.5 cm
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