Every time you think David Wiesner can’t surpass his last award-winning picture book, he gobsmacks you anew with something astonishing. Meet Art and Max, two desert lizards who love to paint. Arthur, the establishment guy, is a slightly pompous brown horned lizard who paints serious portraits of other lizards. Little green Max is the goofy young upstart who insists he can paint, but doesn’t know what to paint. Arthur says, “Well . . . you could paint me.” Max takes him literally, covering Art’s body in dripping blues, yellows and reds. That’s when the book really goes haywire. “Max!” Arthur roars, indignantly, causing the paint to literally explode from his body, leaving him with an undercoat of dusty rainbow colors. When he takes a drink of water, the color washes right off leaving only his outline. Max grabs hold of Art’s tail, and the line collapses into a tangle, which Max then reassembles and recolors, Jackson Pollock-style. Visually mind-blowing, this is an imaginative romp that defies logic but gets us all looking at Art (and Arthur) with fresh eyes.
THEMES: ANIMALS. ART. FRIENDSHIP.
Clarion Books, 2010
Suggested Ages: 3-8