Baby Book Club: My Art Book of Love by Shana Gozansky

Welcome to another Baby Book Club! This month, Tilly and Marian talk about the curated book of fine art, My Art Book of Love by Shana Gozansky. And it’s for babies and toddlers!

Art, like anything else, is only as meaningful and interesting as it is relatable. For toddlers and preschoolers, connecting their own experiences of love to those they see on the canvas allows them to truly engage with the material. 35 full-page artworks feature love in all its forms, accompanied by a brief and gentle read-aloud text. Each artwork's title and artist's name are included as secondary read-aloud text, for true integration of narrative and information.

Tilly: Hi Marian! I’m excited about this month’s book club pick. I really like this book. It’s one of my favourites. This is one of the books that I make Mummy read to me the most. Did you like it?

Marian: It’s okay. I like the hearts and I like turning the pages. But it doesn’t have very many animals in it. I’m not sure I can call a book good if it doesn’t have any animals.

Tilly: My favouritest EVER page is the ‘slow dances…’ page. When we get to it, I say ‘dance dance dance’ and I start dancing too. Mummy says the way I dance isn’t the way they are dancing in the picture [Slow Dance by Kerry James Marshall], but what would she know? She doesn’t even like dancing. Do you like to dance? Do you have a favourite page in the book?

Marian: I LOVE to dance! But usually, I dance to music and not pictures. It’s cool that you can dance with pictures! I’ve never thought of doing that. I have two favorite pictures: “Love goes where you go” (’61 Pontiac painted by Robert Bechtle) and “Love is always” (Old Couple painted by John Currin). When we get to these pages, I point at all the people and Mommy names them — Mommy, Daddy, Child, Pawpaw, Grandma. It’s fun!

Tilly: My second favourite page is the other dancing page [The Dancers by Fernando Botero] and when we get there I make Mummy go back to the first dancing page and we go back and forth a bit. It’s practically a disco. Did you notice that those two pictures are kind of the same?

Marian: I didn’t! My two favorites are kinda the same too because they show family! Good thinking, Tilly.

Tilly: When Mummy reads this one aloud her voice goes all soft and nice and I like listening to it. She reads it differently to my other books. How does your mummy read this one? Do you read with your mummy much?

Marian with the art book of loveMarian: I try to read with my mommy every 15 minutes or so. It’s never enough. I don’t like how she reads this one so much. I like it when Mommy acts dramatically while she reads, but she doesn’t do that with this one.

Tilly: Oh! I almost forgot! The other part of the book I liked: the page with the car [’61 Pontiac by Robert Bechtle]! I always say vroom when we get to that page. This is a good book to listen to and read aloud and look at AND to touch. That’s pretty great. ¬†What do you think?

Marian: I agree! It’s interesting that you have a completely different reaction to that picture! It makes me think about family, and you think about cars! Mommy says this is how art works, that we each bring something unique in our interpretations of art. I don’t know what she means. Oh, I notice that the picture you chose as the featured image is my 3rd favorite, “And hard kisses” (The Kiss by Constantin Brancusi). I know it says kiss, but I notice that they’re hugging, so I say “hug” when I see that picture.

Tilly: Thanks for reading with me, Marian! It’s fun to look at art!

Marian: Thanks Tilly!

Tilly and Marian have more books about love they recommend!

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