Things to Read - New Art Books (for Kids and Adults)

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Two weekends ago, F and I spent Saturday morning at the Hirshhorn checking out the new Ai Weiwei exhibit, "According to What?" (click here to read KidFriendly DC's review). Of course, we eventually ended up in the museum shop. Usually, because I have three children with me, I do whatever it takes to avoid such an experience. But with one non-toddler child, everything seemed so accessible all of a sudden. And I could actually peruse multiple books that have been sitting on my Amazon wishlist for months. Plus, since we have a Smithsonian membership, everything is discounted by 10%, which is practically a sale, right? So I went a little crazy, here are some of the books we purchased (from top to bottom):

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1. They Draw and Cook: 107 Recipes Illustrated by Artists from Around the World - A cookbook with beautiful art, full of all sorts of different recipes (most of them pretty easy to duplicate) - how could you not want this book? For those of you who don't want to spend the $13, the website is also pretty wonderful.

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2. Art Lab for Kids: 52 Creative Adventures in Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Paper, and Mixed Media-For Budding Artists of All Ages (Lab Series) - I already blogged about this book on Tuesday (click here for the post) and so far we're really enjoying it. The projects are all relatively simple (though sometimes messy), yet creative (as in "I never would have thought of that") and free-form (so kids can spend lots of time on them and use them as creative jumping off points for other projects).

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3. A Year in Art: The Activity Book - F picked this out and I just love the whole concept of it. Every day (for 365 days) a new artwork is introduced, along with a simple activity. Sometimes the book encourages kids to write a story about a painting, other times the books asks them to recognize details in the artwork or create their own artwork. It looks like so much fun that I want to "play" along. F doesn't want to begin any of the projects until January 1, so she'll complete the book in order. Hopefully she'll stick with it and learn a lot.

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4. The Where, the Why, and the How: 75 Artists Illustrate Wondrous Mysteries of Science - How could you NOT want to buy a book where scientists and artists teem up to explain the world to us? Plus, it's just so so pretty.

Oh, and if you're interested in other great, temporary art exhibits to see with your children, Not-So-SAHM has the kid-friendly scoop on the National Gallery of Art's Lichtenstein retrospective (I so want to go!).

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