K-2 Aide Writes, Illustrates and Publishes "If Picasso Were a Fish"

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K-2 Educational Aide Skip Ploss has published his first book for young people, "If Picasso Were a Fish". The book looks at the subject of a fish using the styles of 14 artists from Picasso to Pollack using rhyming prose and highly accessible illustrations which are done in the style of each artist.

What if Pablo Picasso were a fish? What would he look like? What about Monet, Cezanne, Pollack, Kandinsky and others? What kinds of fish would they be? Author and illustrator Skip Ploss dares not only to ask that question (who else would) but to answer it as well and in vivid color.

In his first book for children, “If Picasso Were a Fish”, Mr. Ploss (or “Mr. Skip” as he is know to Wilton K-2 students) exposes kids to a variety of artistic styles with rhyming prose and original illustrations that show a broad view of each artist’s style. Mr. Ploss has created colorful illustrations that highlight the styles of, Claude Monet, John Singer Sargent, Pablo Picasso, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Henri Matisse, Diego Rivera, Paul Klee, Piet Mondrian, Paul Cézanne, Jackson Pollack, Paul Gauguin, Wassily Kandinsky, Georges Seurat and Vincent Van Gogh.

The book has been read to children from the age of 18 months to eight years old. “The amazing thing,” says Mr. Ploss, “is that each age group takes something different from it. The 18 month old who is the son of a friend ended up playing ‘find the fish’ whereas a kindergarten class at Driscoll School did a whole project (and book of their own) based on the book created by student teacher Meris Horowitz.”

The class looked at the illustrations first, and then the book was read to them. Afterwards, they were given pages on which they told what kind of fish they wanted to be and then drew a picture.

When he was shown the book Mr. Ploss was pleased to find references in almost half of the class’s pictures to illustrations in the book.

“One was a clear representation of the fish in the illustration on the Picasso page,” he says, “and there were visual references to the Matisse, Seurat, Monet, Kandinsky and Cézanne illustrations in other children’s work as well. It was amazing.”

“If Picasso Were a Fish” is published by Mr. Ploss at Lulu press (http://www.lulu.com/skipploss) and is also available on his http://www.plossville.com website. The paperback book has 38 pages and retails for $15.99.

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Skip Ploss

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