Oscar De Mejo Oscar de Mejo's ABC

ISBN 13: 9780060205164

Oscar de Mejo's ABC

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9780060205164: Oscar de Mejo's ABC
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Paintings illustrate scenes from Americana for each letter of the alphabet.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 3 Up-- Full-page reproductions of de Mejo's paintings of American myth and legend done over the last 19 years are used to illustrate the letters of the alphabet. The artist, whose influences are cited as including Giotto, Rousseau, Barnum & Bailey posters, and Dick Tracy comic strips, displays the immigrant's fascination with the history of his adopted land in handsome paintings done in muted colors, which are at once naive, cerebral, celebratory, and ironic. Although the monolithic figures in strangely varied sizes and formal, primitive style are too sophisticated for most children's tastes, the paintings are often powerful, elegantly designed, with a fine sense of pattern. The subjects include the Boston Tea Party, a cowboy, George Washington, Ben Franklin's kite, Valley Forge, and the Statue of Liberty. There are also paintings of colonial times, the opening of the West, Bull Run, jazz performers from the 1920s, and baseball at the turn of the century. A few odd selections have little to do with Americana. The last two pages offer de Mejo's comments on each painting. Some give historical information or insight into his thoughts and interests; others will baffle readers. A few are examples of the subversive wit that has always been evident in his work. The book seems to be primarily a coffee table item for those who appreciate his unique style. For large collections or those with strong emphasis on the art of illustration. --Marilyn Iarusso, New York Public Library
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

From the late expatriate Italian painter, who was acclaimed for the special and unusual vision he brought to children's illustration (The Tiny Visitor, 1982), an alphabet of paintings (with dates from 1973 to 1988) celebrating his adopted country. In his surreal, carefully constructed compositions, de Mejo pays tribute to the vivid colors and stiff, hard-edged style of American folk art; in the same spirit, his subjects are historical icons: Valley Forge, Lewis and Clark, Virginia Dare, the Wild West; even scenes that might have been more contemporary--``Umpire''; ``Zoo''--have a period flavor. The stars and stripes appear frequently, often as the garb of a woman of heroic proportions. De Mejo seems to have accepted the trappings of conventional history uncritically, but his pictorial representation of it is uniquely imaginative. Provocative and intriguing. (Picture book. 5+) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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de Mejo, Oscar
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