Review: Sneaky Art

sneakyartSneaky Art: Crafty Surprises to Hide in Plain Sight by Marthe Jocelyn. 2013. 9780763656485. Gr. 3-6

Do you like surprises?  Or gently subversive art?  If yes, Sneaky Art is for you.  What is it all about?  Here is an explanation from the introduction:

“This book is a how-to manual for making art projects from easily found materials.  The surprise comes from where you put your creation.  How about a pair of eyes peeking up from a street grate?  Or a birthday note tied around a tree?  Each project is meant to be displayed in a public place, for people you may or may not know, in a made-you-look-twice spirit of fun.”

This is not about graffiti.  None of the projects in the book are permanent or damaging to any property. They often use recycled materials, and most are simple enough even for those who don’t think of themselves as particularly crafty.  As soon as I saw this book, I saw programming potential.  When I was planning programs for teens in a public library, I know I would have had some of the younger teens clamoring for a Sneaky Art themed program. There are even a couple of projects designed to be left in a library that the regulars in my library would have loved.  What better way to call attention to one of your favorite books that with a (totally quiet) “Library Shout”?  Love the idea of getting the kids involved in reading promotion in a crafty way!

Check out the Sneaky Art Starter Kit available from the publisher to see a few examples of projects from the book.  I expect it will be a hit with a wide variety of readers in elementary and middle school whether they are looking for a fun book to browse through or are ready for some unusual inspiration.  I do want to note that the book is spiral-bound, which isn’t always very library friendly, but this is such a fun and interesting book, I’d hate for it to be overlooked just because of the binding.  I hope you give it a chance!

Looking for a more traditional look at public art or graffiti?  There are all sorts of resources on our Murals & Other Public Art list.  Just as a reminder, you’ll need a login to view the list.

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