Magic Monday – The Magic of the Artist’s Notebook

The Bird King: An Artist’s Notebook by Shaun Tan
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books

Publication Date: February 1, 2013 | Age Level: 10 and up | Grade Level: 5 and up

This book offers a fascinating glimpse into a wonderful artist’s mind. I must admit the title of the book first drew me in – ‘The Bird King’ – with my son being so interested in birds, I promptly added this book to my NetGalley catalog. However, once I opened the book, the wonders within the book captured my interest fully.

Full of sketches, drawings, scribbles, doodles, paintings, and more, this book is a delight. It will be sure to inspire, bring smiles onto faces, make kids of all ages have ‘aha’ moments where they come up with stories of their own.  Even Tan’s introduction to this book as well as the short leading descriptions to the different sections of the book – untold stories; book, theater, and film; drawings from life; and notebooks – lend to the core strength of this book – to inspire and delight the artist, the ‘imaginator’ (why is this not a word!?), the daydreamer in each one of us. Learning an artist’s creative process is fascinating, especially with an artist as talented as Shaun Tan. And when I wondered why some of the drawings were familiar I realized I had seen them in other books and movies too (Wall-E for one!).

It is difficult for me to pick a single favorite sketch from this book – I loved them all, and am bursting with smiles, brimming with ideas after going through this book. Though my little ones have not yet had a look at this book, I know that they will looove it, and be inspired by it.

Whimsical, magical, delightful, inspirational – this book is all this rolled in one wonderful package. A must-look, must-explore, must-read, must-see – in short, a must-have – for all ages. This is an ocean of prompts in one place. If you are an artist, or a writer, or a daydreamer, pick up this book. And even if you are not, this book is for you – it might just be the muse you were missing all your life.

Using the artist’s own words in his introduction, this book is like ‘a sun shower from the heavens’.

Rating: A+
Reading Level: All ages (younger kids might not like some of the darker sketches – but  they reminded me of Where the Wild Things are and other similar illustrations so younger kids will definitely enjoy looking at many of the sketches and parents can skip the others for them as they read together)
Reread Level: 5/5

Disclaimer:Thank you to NetGalley for sending me a digital review copy of the book above. I was not compensated for my review. My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist. They are my
personal opinions formed when I read the book.

For my Monday kid’s books reviews, the book reviewed here today goes towards the weekly meme at Jen and Kellee’s – What are You Reading? From Picture Books to YAFor What are you reading? @ Book Journey

Completed reading:
Chloe’s Vegan Desserts (digital ARC)
review and giveaway completed here
The Bird King (digital ARC) reviewed here
The Night Circus (library copy) reviewed here in verse 🙂

Currently reading:

The Traveling Restaurant by Barbala Else (digital RC) 
Shakespeare on Toast by Ben Crystal (digital RC)
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
The Bracelet by Roberta Gately (review copy from publisher) 
Gone Fishing by Tamera Will Wissinger (digital ARC)
Following romances which I will review here
Checkmate, My Lord by Tracey Devyln (digital ARC) 
and also a couple more books!!
Next on my list to read:Murder in Mumbai (digital RC)
and a few more…

For Musing Mondays at Should Be Reading, I picked the following question from the choices offered:
Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.

 The Bracelet by Roberta Gately – this is a review copy provided to me by the publisher and I am enjoying the book – I just started it and it is a definitely riveting read.

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