CM . . .
. Volume XIV Number 18. . . .May 2, 2008
A book that begins with the words, "It's not my fault!" seems almost bound to make a parent cringe with worry. Chris Tougas' new picture book, Art's Supplies, is messy, but delightfully so. Art's Supplies is bold. It is loud. It is busy, but, above all else, it is fun. The art supplies—the paper, the markers, the glue, the paints, etc.—of the young artist, Art, decide to throw a huge party. One can imagine the mess that they create! Having two young daughters of my own, I now understand that their art supplies must have occasionally thrown a party. How else can one explain the paint covered walls, the thousands of tiny pieces of cut paper, the glue soaked table?
As messy as it is, Art's Supplies is an engaging book. Tougas includes many humorous plays on words that add to the enjoyment generated by the mischievous, light-hearted illustrations. Art's dark (but increasingly paint-stained) clothing provides an interesting contrast to the colour around him on the page. This clever use of colour and contrast is a feature of the delightful illustrations.
Gregory Bryan works at the University of Manitoba. He teaches children's literature courses in the Faculty of Education.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.