A Whole World of Art

A time-travelling trip through a whole world of art

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Pub Date 19 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 25 Jul 2023

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This beautifully illustrated book seeks to tell children the true story of art, in which the rich visual canon from every culture is explored by looking at key works from different times and places.

Even before they could write, people were telling stories with pictures. And though art is universal, the story we know about it is not. A Whole World of Art opens your eyes to a global view of art by taking you on a whirlwind tour around the world and through time. With two companions—a boy and a girl—travel through 27 destinations from the history of art, circling the globe.

Each spread shows a stunning, edge-to-edge illustrated scene from art history portraying an artist or artists making important artwork within a detailed background. A paragraph of introductory text and small captions around the page give fascinating details about the artists and the time and place in which they lived. Art project ideas provide inspiration throughout. Visit:
  • Athens, Greece (450 BCE), where you will marvel at the gleaming gold statues and marble architecture
  • The Ming Dynasty, China (1368–1644), where you will discover intricate designs, drawings, and calligraphy on paper and porcelain
  • Benin City, Africa (1550), where you will meet the brass-casters who create elaborately detailed plaques and ornaments only for the Oba (or king)
  • Coyoacan, Mexico (1907–1954), where you will get to know the painters Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera
Written by art history teacher Dr. Sarah Phillips, who rewrote and decolonized the A Level syllabus in the UK, and illustrated by talented artist Dion Mehaga Bangun Djayasaputra, this gorgeous book offers a fresh, inclusive view of the history of art.
This beautifully illustrated book seeks to tell children the true story of art, in which the rich visual canon from every culture is explored by looking at key works from different times and places.


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780711265370
PRICE US$26.00 (USD)

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Average rating from 25 members

Featured Reviews

This children’s book provides an impressive journey through the history of art, crossing both time and space in its inclusive selection of art around the world in many times and cultures. It’s splendidly illustrated by Dion MBD, who manages to incorporate many forms and styles of actual historical artworks into the imagery.

Thank you to author Sarah Phillips, illustrator Dion MBD, Quarto Publishing Group – Wide Eyed Editions, and NetGalley for providing this ARC for review consideration. All opinions expressed are my own.

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This lovely book helps children see art throughout history, starting in 1350 BCE in Giza, Egypt and ending with Ai Wei Wei in 1968. But this is not another trek through Western Art history from Michelangelo to Monet - author Sarah Phillips effectively decolonizes art history by showing us 33 important works from all over the world, including Indonesia, Sudan, Guatemala, Japan and Russia and artists from a variety of backgrounds, faiths and races. Phillips contextualizes them so young readers learn about their lives, influences and the materials with which they worked. Information is also given about where the art is now and whether it can be viewed by the public (she pointedly notes that many works from Africa (in particular) were taken by conquerors during the colonization era).

The illustrations by Dion Mehaga Bangun Djayasaputra are notable. Each spread contains lively and beautifully drawn images of the art and artists being presented, integrated with actual pictures of the art being discussed.

As a teacher of art appreciation, I applaud this effort (can they do one for adults now please?). My only question is what age is the proper audience. Although the short, illustrated format seems meant for smaller children, some of the facts, names and places would be better absorbed by older children. I can see it being used in 3rd - 5th grade classes, hopefully in geography and history study as well as art. In addition to decolonizing the history of art, this book can also play a role in helping children understand that art doesn’t just live in museums, and knowledge of art can and should be integrated into curriculum as an equal player.

Many thanks to Quarto/Wide Eyed Publications and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Very fun educational book about art around the world. I really love that the book is part illustration and part photos of the actual art to make it fun. Definitely more for older children like 1st grade and up.

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🎨 This is a great introduction to art through the ages!!!

🖌️ This book follows two young friends – Alzena and Miles – on a time-travel trip through the world of art. Readers will be introduced to ancient pieces (like Nefertiti’s Bust in Egypt) to contemporary pieces (like The Law of the Journey sculpture in the Czech Republic), and many others in between!

🧑‍🎨 The art is quite varied as well. You will see some typical art, such as paintings, sculptures, and murals. But you will also learn about churches, temples, books, scrolls, stamps, columns, calligraphy and more!

📜 The art presented is from around the world, including Japan, UK, Australia, Ghana, Canada, Sudan, US, Mexico, Germany, Turkey, Nigeria, India, Guatemala, and more!

✒️ Each page includes amazing imagery and a ton of information about the art, the artist, cultural information, and other historical facts.

🛕 There is a glossary in the back of the book!! I love glossaries in books for young readers.

🏛️ This book belongs in school and home libraries for sure!

Thank you @Netgalley and Quarto Publishing Group/Wide Eyed Editions for an eARC of this book, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

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A Whole World of Art takes the reader on a time-traveling journey to discover paintings, sculptures, and architecture worldwide. This is different from your typical art history book. It begins in Giza, Ancient Egypt, in 1350 BCE and ends in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2018. Other locations include Japan, Australia, the US, Mexico, Sudan, Nigeria, the UK, Russia, and Guatemala.

I would have loved it if the book contained a map of all the locations, but building one added a lesson in geography and cartography, allowing us to expand our use of the book. We even added building the LEGO Art - The Giant Wave to our lesson plan.

Each location in the book contains a lot of information about the featured artist, their artwork, and similar historical facts, like their inspiration and where the artwork is currently displayed. These facts are broken into 1-2 sentence blurbs to keep the reader's information manageable. The reader can choose how much to learn on each page. Some of these blurbs ask the reader questions like "What or who do you think the artist is painting on the big easel to the left?" or point out parts of the art they may not have noticed. This can lead a child to investigate further and interact more with the artwork.

Overall, this book would be a good addition to a lesson plan on art history or geography. The pages can be read out of order, so if I was learning about Japan, I could read those pages and save the others for another country.

Recommended age: 8-10 years (Elementary school)

Writing style: Short blurbs of information scattered across the page. There isn't a defined order to read them, and all do not need to be read to learn more about the art in the illustrations. They include facts about the artwork and artists and prompts for readers to investigate further or make their own artwork.

Lexile range (unofficial): 810L - 1000L
Sentence length: 5/5
Word frequency: 2/5

Illustration style: Dion MBD seamlessly incorporates photographs of the actual artwork into his vast two-page spreads. He draws the architecture and clothing of each location and time period. The colors match those in the painting, leading to a varied yet toned-down style.

Reality-based: This is a non-fiction art history book exploring art worldwide.

Disclaimer: Thank you, NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group - Wide Eyed Editions, for this title. All opinions are my own.

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A Whole World of Art is a book all about the history of art throughout the world, and what it meant to us throughout history. I really enjoyed reading this book, as I have studied art for many years and as a designer, I thought the layout of the book was amazing! I loved the beautiful illustrations and thought they complemented the book very nicely, and I liked that the text was arranged around each page in small sections so it wasn’t an overload of information but rather fun little facts throughout! I would definitely recommend this to anyone interested in the history of art, or just world history in general, as this was a very enjoyable read.

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As with all non-fiction books by Quarto Publishing, this is an information packed book full of stunning illustrations. The book covers a wide selection of cities from various countries. For each featured city, it spotlights an artist and a piece of their work. I love how it includes some less commonplace choices.

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I absolutely would've loved this book as a child, the layout is lovely and bright with facts peppered around. It runs chronologically through time, and areas of the world, giving snippets of art history.

I was pleased to see it's not just a history of Western art, but of the world. This does feel more standard with newer titles, but I think it's worth pointing out so people can see when it isn't the case.

I received an advance copy for free from NetGalley, on the expectation that I would provide an honest review.

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Thank you NetGalley and Wide Eyed Editions for this eCopy to review

I really enjoyed reading A Whole World of Art with my children. We learnt a lot of information about art throughout time and all around the world. The book is very clearly set out with beautiful illustrations and text on each double spread. We particularly enjoyed the fact that it covers the whole world not just the West, so we learnt about different cultures as well

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Educational book about art around the world. Alzena and Miles travel the world on each page learning about a specific work of art in different time periods and countries. It begins with the Giza, Ancient Egypt and a bust of Nefertiti (1350 BCE) and ends in Prague with a contemporary work in 2018. I like that it isn’t always traditional famous works. It includes murals, sculptures, and I love that it adds things like stained glass, an atlas and other less common works. It includes work from around the world and isn’t western or Eurocentric as a focus. I appreciated learning about the works and artists some of I have seen in person. I could easily see this is libraries or older elementary classrooms.

Thank you to Quarto Publishing Group - Wide Eyed Editions for the temporary ARC and I leaving a voluntary review.

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