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Pick of the Day: Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists–Faith Ringgold (DVD)

By SLJ on April 16, 2013 

Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists: Faith Ringgold. DVD. 22 min. Getting to Know. 2012. ISBN 978-0-9828803-6-4. $29.95.

Gr 2-5–Mike Venezia knows how to present a topic with whacky humor, interesting facts, and lots of kid appeal. Based on his book (Children’s Press, 2008) about Faith Ringgold, this enthusiastic program introduces an amazing and influential African-American artist to young viewers. Told in the first person and read in a rich, smile-filled voice by Ora Jones, this production provides information about the artist and her artwork. There are plenty of photographs and video clips, along with funny cartoons that are sure to appeal to the target audience. Many examples of the artist’s work are also featured, showing the wide range of her talent, with special emphasis on her story quilts and stuffed sculptures. Wonderful background music sets an optimistic tone as viewers learn about Ringgold’s childhood and adult life. The challenges she faced and the experiences and artists that influenced her work are presented. Best of all, viewers get to see that art work, diving into its colors and reveling in its exuberance. This is a story of persistence and perseverance—of a strong woman who followed her dream and cherishes her heritage. Both educational and inspiring, it merits a place in all library collections for children.–Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary,FederalWay,WA