Review Blog

Jun 28 2018

I am an artist by Nikki Slade Robinson

cover image

Starfish Bay, 2017. ISBN 9781760361013
(Age: 4+) Themes: Art. Nature. Creativity. 'I am an anywhere artist ... my imagination is all I need.' New Zealand author illustrator Nikki Slade Robinson draws inspiration from nature and the natural elements in this imaginative picture book. Written from the young girl's point of view, each page starts with an 'I' statement - I can, I don't need, I find, I pick up and I collect. Simple, carefully created sentences, full of alliteration and adjectives describing the found materials are a delight to read out loud. As the little girl spreads the strands of seaweed along the beach she states, 'I collect salty shells. I shape sand. I spread curly seaweed out'. The text appears handwritten with curly tails with some written in a larger size for emphasis. There is a creative flow to the story, which builds anticipation what setting is next, what will inspire her?
Robinson's combination of photographs, natural backgrounds and the movement of the young artist seen from different viewpoints is visually engaging. She leaps across the page trailed by beautiful golden flowers, she searches amongst lush green forest ferns and lies on a lawn of green grass and makes cloud art inside her head. There is a celebration of creativity, she is not limited by paints, brushes and paper, the scope of her artistic creations is only limited by her imagination.
I am an artist by Nikki Slade Robinson opens up the world of environmental art to families, pre-schoolers and early years teachers. A plethora of experiences unfold, collecting found objects from backyards and beaches, forests and parks, sharing the simple joys of cloud watching, simple activities just right for sharing. Seasonal adventures, making sculptures, multi-dimensional art and whole class collaborations - Robinson's gorgeous picture book provides the springboard for creative expression.
Teacher's Guide is available.
Rhyllis Bignell

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