Sneaky Art: Crafty Surprises to Hide in Plain Sight
Written and Illustrated by Marthe Jocelyn
The charming art projects in this book are like Random Acts of Kindness meet Street Art. The sneaky part is to surprise people, either family or friends even strangers, with a bit of art to make them smile. The projects are made from materials that most everyone has or can easily find. They are meant to be seen in public places. They are meant to be fun. The book maintains this message of spreading laughter and friendship, but it does explicitly state at the beginning that “sneaky art is NOT: mean, defacing, ugly, hurtful, messy or permanent.” The book describes “sneaky lettering”, which involves using letters from a variety of sources and “getting sneaky”, which means finding a sneaky spot, knowing when to place your art in its spot and figuring out how to get it there without getting caught. Like street art, it is not meant to be permanent, so the author urges the reader to take a picture to remember their artwork. The final advice? “Don’t make anyone mad—make them laugh!” All the projects are easy to make and have a hip and funky look to them that will appeal to everyone. The difficulty levels vary, however, so some projects could be made by a much younger child, which means the projects could be shared with younger students or siblings.
The instructions are told with a laughing, conspiring tone that makes it fun to read. This would be the perfect book for those units on how-to books or even a Character Counts unit that talks about Random Acts of Kindness, using the projects as a literacy activity. The book has a spiral binding, allowing the book to stay open as one does the projects. There is a Sneaky Art Activity Kit on the publisher’s website: (http://www.candlewick.com/book_files/0763656488.kit.1.pdf). The reading level is 4.8, but the instructions are easy for all readers.