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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Gaining Perspective: LOVE by Sophia by Jim Averbeck

"TODAY'S ASSIGNMENT--DRAW SOMETHING YOU LOVE," SAID MS. PARADIGM.

SOPHIE KNEW JUST WHAT SHE WANTED TO DRAW!

But when she's finished, it's NOT what she wanted! Not at all!

ART IS HARD!

Sophies tries again and again, but something is missing.

Ms. Paradign suggests perspective. She explains tha perspective can mean your personal point of view, but on a flat surface in art it is a way of scaling a drawing so that things that are in the distance are smaller and things up close look bigger. Sophie tries looking up at Noodles, her giraffe, and sees that when he stands up tall his ossicones look small, but when he bends his neck down close to her, his horns look bigger and bigger.

"WE SAY YOU HAVE A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE," MS. PARADIGM SAYS.

Sophie works hard on her painting until she thinks it's just perfect. She names her work "LOVE" and can't wait to take it home and mount it on their refrigerator. Their refrigerator is special.

IT WAS THE GUGGENHEIM, THE LOUVRE MUSEUM, OF REFRIGERATORS!

But not only that! Their refrigerator is new, so new that there's not a single dimple of a dent, not a vestige of a scratch, nor a smudge of tape adhesive to mar its magnificent surface. To take a place on that door, her art had to pass a tough selection committee--her mother, a judge, her Uncle Conrad, a politician, her father, a businessman,--and Gran-mama' herself, chief curator of the kitchen fridge-door gallery, a place which brooks no fingerprints.

"THAT'S CENSORSHIP!" PLEADS SOPHIA.
"THAT'S STAINLESS." RULES MOTHER.

Dad declares that abstract art often suffers loss of value. Sophie says LOVE has no price, but Uncle Conrad says avant garde art is not stable in free markets and advocates adding wholesome carrots to influence public well-being. And when it comes to fine art, Gran-mama' is a purist:

"ART? A SIX-YEAR-OLD COULD HAVE DONE THIS!"

Poor Sophie refrains from pointing out that she IS a six-year-old! Will she ever see her marvelous work of art on display?

Art, it seems, is in the perspective of the beholder, in Jim Averbeck's latest in his Sophie series, Love by Sophia (The Sophia Books) (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2020). This new one is a clever story of art for art's sake which brings back his indomitable character and her improbable pet, Noodles the giraffe, along with his proactive protagonist's loving but opinionated family in a story that considers both artistic and personal perspective. Illustrated with the now-familiar rather abstract style of Jasmin Ismael, this new picture book also offers an appendix in which perspective in art is described and demonstrated and a glossary of some of Sophie's big words--censorship, ossicones, abstract and avant garde in art, and public sector, to name a few. Share this one with Averbeck's One Word from Sophia (The Sophia Books) (see my review here).

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