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Botticelli
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Gr 2-6-- Venezia believes that ``the best way to introduce kids to art and artists is through fun , '' but this admirable concept doesn't succeed. Goya begins with a self-portrait of the artist at 65, and continues with oversimplified biographical data and excellent reproductions of a variety of his paintings. The works range from a baroque ceiling fresco to The Madhouse at Zaragoza to The Third of May, which depicts a military execution. Botticelli contrasts markedly in style and subject, if only because the artist's work is much more accessible to young students than Goya's. Again the reproductions are superb, and the text extremely basic, but because classic Renaissance works are more obvious, oversimplification is less of a problem. In both titles, the cartoons inserted distract and detract from the effect of the art, and from the purpose of the books; readers unfamiliar with Goya and Botticelli won't have enough information from the text to understand the intended humor. Teachers may want these as sources of the reproductions in classrooms, but their research usefulness and browsing interest are marginal. --Dorcas Hand, Annunciation Orthodox School, Houston

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