Monday, July 23, 2007

Portraits (A First Discovery Art Book) by Claude Delafosse #33

Delafosse, C. (1993). Portraits (First Discovery Art series). Illustrated by Tony Ross. New York: Scholastic Books.

Book Type/Pages:


Grade Level:

PreK through second grade

Curriculum Links:


Author Credibility:

Claude Delafosse has studied art in France in the Art Schools of Rouen. He has written and illustrated several books for children.


I could not locate any awards for this book.

Book Summary:

This is a very simplistic concept book about portraits. It starts by defining a portrait, and then giving examples of portraits that have been painted, sculpted, and engraved. The book contains acetate overlays that allow elements of the paintings to be deconstructed.

National/State Standards:

National Art Education Standards:
Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas
Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others


The illustrations in this book consist of photographs of famous portraits. There are also accompanying illustrations that appear to be done in watercolor. Incorporated with the illustrations are acetate overlays.

Access Features:

Important access features of this book include a Table of Illustrations with information about each piece of art. Other titles in the First Discovery Art series are also listed. This book also contains acetate overlays.

Writing Style:

Because this book is intended for young readers, it is written simplistically. Each piece of work is deconstructed with the overlays and the author asks a leading question that is answered by using the overlay.

Use in My Classroom:

I would use this book as a part of different artist studies. I would also use this to explain the difference in portraits and other paintings such as landscapes or abstract art.

My Response to the Book:

I enjoyed this book. I like the use of acetate overlays. I can remember looking through an old encyclopedia set and studying the acetate overlays. I enjoyed playing with them as I did in this book.

Related Texts:

Another book about portraits:

Here’s Looking at Me: How Artists See Themselves by Bob Raczka

Other art books for children:

Claude Monet: Sunshine and Waterlillies by True Kelley
Vincent Van Gogh: Sunflowers and Swirly Stars by Joan Holub
Pablo Picasso: Breaking All the Rules by True Kelley
Henri Matisse: Drawing with Scissors by Jane O’Conner
Edgar Degas: Paintings That Dance by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
Mary Cassatt: Family Pictures by Jane O’Conner

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