Cultured Donuts: Take a Bite Out of Art History by Chloe Tyler. Flowerpot Press, 2022. 9781486718719
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3
Format: Hardcover picture book non-fiction
What did you like about the book? Ok, bear with me here…each spread in this unique picture book describes a famous artist and their style, which is then depicted in…donuts. Yes, donuts. Chloe Tyler fully admits in her bio on the back leaf that she loves “vivid palettes” and the pages are pasted and splattered with the brightest of the doughy sweet – complete with brilliant sprinkles. The book opens with a bit of a long-winded over explanation of the artist, their intent, their interests, their attachment to the Master artists, etc., but then moves into double spreads highlighting some of the greats (Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Pollack all the way up to Basquiat and (kinda’ nervy), Chloe herself. Tyler does a fairly good job depicting the sugary o’s in their appropriate artistic style although some are a bit of a stretch – check out Mary Cassatt or the Monet donut that doesn’t take on any impressionistic style and just seems to float along on the famous lily pond. Endnotes give brief bios of the artists and there’s a glossary of art terms.
Anything you didn’t like about it? I wouldn’t place this as a first purchase but it’s a fun giggle if you have the time.
To whom would you recommend this book? I would give this to kids or adults who have a grounding in the great masters. In order to find some of the humor, you have to have a bit on the background history and context of the works.
Who should buy this book? Elementary school libraries and children’s libraries.
Where would you shelve it? Non-fiction – 759
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No, it’s fun but no need to read it first
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Pam Watts is the Head of Children’s Services at the Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: September 16, 2022