My friend over at Classical Conversations at Home shared this book on a post of Christmas gifts for her children. I was very excited to find Art Fraud Detective: Spot the Difference, Solve the Crime! at our local library. Since my friend bought it for her children, I knew it would be something we would like, but I honestly didn’t realize how excited my kids would be.
I walked through the door with our latest library holds and held up the Art Fraud Detective. My children dropped what they were doing and ran to the living room floor to pour over the book. Almost immediately, one child had grabbed a paper to make the art fraud chart the book recommends. Another child raced off to find a different art book that contained a painting that they recognized. The kids sat there, studying and exploring art for over an hour just the first time they looked at the book.
What I like about Art Fraud Detective:
- My children intently studied famous paintings. (The book has them investigating, trying to find the forgeries. This leads to a lot of close studying, complete with the magnifying glass that is provided in the book.)
- The “detective” part of the book got all the children involved – even those not as excited about art. Who doesn’t love a good challenge? And finding out who were the art thieves was certainly enough of a challenge to grab their attention.
- There is a lot to this book. It wasn’t something they finished in just what sitting. They really have taken a long time enjoying this book. We even had to renew it. I have a feeling we may have to get this one out again another time as well.
- The answers are in the back. This also can be a negative if you have a child who gets impatient to figure out an answer, but when we get stuck, I appreciate the answers there.
What my children like about it:
- “You get to study paintings to see if they are fake or real.”
- “It’s cool to find things, put pieces of the picture together, and get information who the mystery caller is.”
- “It’s fun to figure out who’s the thief and who should go to jail.”
- “There are some cool paintings and when you are studying, you have to notice all the details.”
- “There are so many interesting paintings.”
- “I like that it comes with a magnifying glass.
Really, I’m pretty sure you can’t go wrong with a book that gets your children excited about studying art and has them surrounding the book for hours. What other great art books should I be looking for?