Monday, June 10, 2019

A Life Made by Hand

A Life Made by Hand is an illustrated biography of Ruth Asawa aimed at younger readers (K-3). Written and illustrated by Andrea D'Aquino, it's due out 3rd Sept 2019 from Princeton Architectural Press, it's 40 pages and will be available in hardback format.

This is an interesting book about the childhood and early adult life of Ruth Asawa. The art is as shown on the cover, and I think that it does a good job of representing -without- being simply photographic or derivative. The artist was more than her sculptural production and I believe the author managed to convey much of her (Asawa's) life experiences without being depressing or providing too much info for younger readers. The book doesn't deal with the family's forcible detention in camps during WW2, first in California, then in Arkansas. The omission was apparently at the request of her daughters, and it is discussed in the afterword.

The book includes a good selection of links to sources for further reading and exploration.  This would make a superlative summer enrichment read for youngsters (perhaps with a coordinated visit to an exhibit of her work), or a classroom read, library book, or gift for an art interested youngster.

There's a cute tutorial for a kirigami insect at the end of the book which would make a nice classroom enrichment tie-in for a unit on Asawa.

Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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