________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 18 . . . . May 10, 2002

cover Art for the Heart: Creative Art Expression for You and Your Friends. (Girl Zone).

Mary Wallace. Illustrated by Claudia Dávila.
Toronto, ON: Maple Tress Press, 2002.
64 pp., pbk. & cl., $12.95 (pbk.), $21.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-894379-30-6 (pbk.), ISBN 1-894379-29-2 (cl.).

Subject Headings:
Handicraft for girls-Juvenile literature.
Creation (Literary, artistic, etc.)-Juvenile literature.
Art-Juvenile literature.
Art-Technique-Juvenile literature.

Grades 4-8 /Ages 9-13.

Review by Ann Abel.

**** /4


What is this thing called art? It is a creative impulse that is felt, then communicated and expressed. Our minds choose the media, our hearts are the channel for our inspiration, our hands and bodies are the tools, our souls are the translators of the creative urge.

Mary Wallace has written an art book with an interesting and different focus! Girls in this age group are surrounded by media images of how they should look, act, and even feel. Art for the Heart endeavors to help girls look inside themselves to find their own uniqueness. Art is seen as a way of exploring oneself and as a valid method of expressing that self. This is a book which deals in many generalities. The advantages and disadvantages of various art materials are discussed. Art basics such as techniques to change textures, the relationship and effects of colours, composition, and symbols are included. As well as this general information, there are many step-by-step projects, such as a friendship necklace and a personality pot. Instructions are clear, and materials required are easily available. An art vocabulary and a bibliography of recommended books and web sites make it easy for students to find further information.

     As well, Art for the Heart introduces several forms of art and includes a short historical explanation where helpful. The reader learns about illuminated manuscripts, weaving, quilts and mandalas, for example. Aspects of the book do an excellent job of covering the "how-to" of art, but perhaps even more useful are the strategies suggested to help girls become more self-aware and see their own unique, individual strengths. Girls are encouraged to keep a journal including not just their works of art but also their personal ideas, feelings and emotions in written form. They are able to document their own journeys in a variety of ways.

     On of the many "Girl talk" quotes in the book sums it up well: "A lot of people describe me as very creative. It's just that I like to make art; that's how I express myself." This books goes a long way toward showing girls that whatever they create, however they feel, they are valuable and valued and they are "okay."

Highly recommended.

Ann Abel, a former teacher of high school English and French, is currently the teacher-librarian at Peterborough Collegiate in Peterborough, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364