One of my favorite gifts from Santa this year was the picture book Alphabeasties and other Amazing Types by Sharon Werner and Sarah Forss.

From an alligator made of AAAs to a Z-striped zebra, every page of this book is so much fun. I love it on many levels—there is the clever use of fonts to create animal portraits, the fold-out pages that make the animals seem to grow right before your eyes, and the ABC approach that is so familiar to many children.  (See more images of the book here). It’s the perfect combination of letter recognition, art, design and fun. And it’s a great model for creating your own game to play when you and your family visit the museum. Follow this easy 4-step recipe for an afternoon of fun:

  1. With your children, make an A to Z list of animals.
  2. Come to the Dallas Museum of Art.
  3. Search the galleries for the animals on your list. To help your kids slow down and take their time, have them sketch their discoveries in an Animal Field Journal (a simple spiral notebook should do just fine!).
  4. Take a vote on “Best Artsy Animal at the DMA” after your visit.

I won’t guarantee that you will find every animal on your list (I haven’t found an octopus or zebra yet), but you will be surprised by how many there are. Here’s just a hint of what is in store: 

"The Peaceable Kingdom," c. 1846-1847; Edward Hicks; Dallas Museum of Art, The Art Museum League Fund

 Happy Hunting!

Posted by: Leah


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Filed under Games, In the galleries, Just for Fun

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