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Author: Wood, Alix
Publisher: Gareth Stevens
Year Published: 2015
ISBN: 9781482422771
Grades: Grade 5, Grade 6

But Is It Art? Body Art

Reviewed by:

“People have been decorating their bodies for thousands of years….Is a beautiful nail design art? Is a  band’s name tattooed on a music fan art?  Are they both art?”
This is one in a series of six books titled But is it Art? This series would make an excellent addition to any school library or art school, as it ponders the question whether what we call art is art.  This one explores whether body art is art. Readers are presented with different perspectives through questions and examples, but does not infer or state whether body art can be defined as artwork.  Types of body art explored are henna, tattoos, body piercings, nail and teeth designs, body painting masks, body parts as art tools, makeup, including special effects and body modifications.  It also addresses whether body art is part of conformity in a society or culture or an expression of individuality.  The argument of whether body art is or isn’t art, is listed at the end of the book for readers to discuss and ponder.
The vibrant format of the book includes short paragraphs, lists of ideas, (What do you think?) questions, Arty Facts, and colourful photographs. The table of contents, glossary, book/website lists and index help readers access information easily.  The Publisher’s note to educators/parents states that websites were reviewed for suitability at the time of the printing of the book, but take no account for possible changes or links that go beyond the recommended websites.  The text is easily accessible to upper elementary students.  Perhaps the book could have included more text/information, as the appeal of this topic will be junior/senior high students.

Recommended for Art classes from upper elementary to high school.  

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