Monday, January 5, 2009
NF Monday -- Sandy's Circus
Sandy's Circus -- a Story About Alexander Calder by Tanya lee Stone, illustrated by Boris Kulikov. New York: Viking Penguin, 2008.
Nonfiction Monday is back. It's a whole new year and there are new books to review.
Does anybody know who Alexander Calder was? (He's dead, you know.)
Well, does anybody know what a mobile is?
Yup, I thought you'd know what that was. Well, Sandy Calder invented them. He just loved to create moving sculptures -- mostly made out of wire. If he was out walking with a friend, Sandy would take out his ever-present coil of wire and his pliers. Twisting and bending the wire while they talked, he soon had a small portrait of his friend.
One day he made a lion. Lions need cages, so he made one. Lions need lion tamers, so he made one. Soon he had created a whole circus, complete with ringmaster. The circus didn't just sit there gathering dust -- no. He entertained his friends with circus performances.
It was a natural step from creating wire trapeze artists to forming shapes connected with wire hanging high and drifting in the wind. Enjoy your mobiles -- they were first invented by Alexander Calder.
Since this picture book biography does not show his life -- only his art and how it came to be -- it is cataloged in the 730's instead of the Biography area. But it can easily be read and enjoyed by second graders and up.
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