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Van Gogh & Friends Art Game Review by Lisa Barthuly & Family

Wenda O'Reilly
Birdcage Press

Birdcage Press has combined education and entertainment in a whole new way! Their lovely art games are in class by themselves! The Van Gogh & Friends Art Game, The Renaissance Art Game, and The Impressionist Art Game have all won countless awards, and I can definitely see why! We reviewed the art games in their complete sets. You can buy the books and/or the card decks separately. They come in a beautiful box with the art book and cards. I HIGHLY recommend buying the boxed set!

The games are based on the classic card games of "Go Fish" and "Concentration" with the artists name, the name of the artwork along with other works by this artist, and of course a full color picture of the artists masterpiece on each card. The books go into a historical timeline. Biographies, maps, details of the lives and art of each artist are featured, featuring the classic works of the artist in full color throughout the books. They are truly lovely and introduce our children to some of the world's most amazing artists.

The Renaissance Art Game features Leonardo da Vinci's "Lady with an Ermine" on the book and box cover. The cards feature 30 masterpieces of da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Fra Angelico & Botticelli. The book is a 75-page soft-cover work of art in and of itself! Not only is the book full of these beautiful works of the featured artists, but full of history and information on the artists and their times.

The Impressionist Art Game features Renoir's "Dance at Bougival" on the book and box cover and 32 beautiful paintings by Renoir, Manet, Pissarro, Monet, Degas, Caillebotte, Berthe Morisot, and my personal favorite Mary Cassat. This book is a 76-page soft cover with a wonderful introduction to the time period, a timeline of the era, and artist biographies in the first 9 pages. Following is more detailed information of each of the artists, their works, and lives. At the back of the book is a list of suggested reads for young children on each artist.

Van Gogh & Friends features Vincent Van Gogh's "Irises in a Vase" on the cover of the book and box cover and showcases 36 classic works of Cezanne, Seurat, Gauguin, Rousseau, Toulouse-Lautrec and of course, Van Gogh! This book is over 80 pages, includes a timeline, history, artist biographies, detailed information on the lives and works of these artists, a large section of further reading suggestions, and even a section in the back that tells us where we can find these works on display!

These Art Games & Books are a wonderful introduction to art history, the classic works of these great artists, the stories behind the paintings and the art techniques used to create them. These are PERFECT for homeschool families, or would make a wonderful gift! They are GORGEOUS, educational, and fun! My HIGHEST recommendation!

You can find Birdcage's products sold at Museums such as The Louvre', New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, London's National Gallery, the Getty Museum, and The Smithsonian. If you don't happen to be able to get to one of those locations, you can just drop by their website and tell them The Old Schoolhouse sent you!!

-Product Review by Lisa Barthuly & Family, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, June, 2006