PB & J Girl is a kinesthetic learner, and she loves doing anything hands on when it comes to school.  She especially enjoys art, so she happily reviewed Art in America, K-3 Vol. 8, the last in the series K-3rd Grade Level, Volumes 1-8 from ARTistic Pursuits, Inc.

About the K-3 Grade Level Volumes

There are eight books total in this series:

  • Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary (Vol. 1)
  • Art of the Ancients (Vol. 2)
  • Art of the Middle Ages (Vol. 3)
  • Artists that Shaped the Italian Renaissance (Vol. 4)
  • Art of the Northern Countries, Renaissance to Realism (Vol. 5)
  • Art of the Impressionists (Vol. 6)
  • Art of the Modern Age (Vol. 7)
  • Art in America (Vol. 8)

Last year, we reviewed Art of the Middle Ages, and while we really liked the concept, we found the book a tad bit young for PB & J Girl who had just finished 3rd grade.  Even though Art in America is marketed for grades K-3, because it’s at the end of the series after all of the skills have been built, it could also be suitable for 4th graders.

The creator, Brenda Ellis, recommends that every new student start with Volume 1 and then either follow the series in order or skip to the time period that most interests your student.

Just like the other volume we reviewed, Volume 8 contained an instructional DVD as well as a Blu-ray disc.

There is also a handy materials list at the front of the book.  After you finish Volume 1, if you’re on a tight budget, it’s worth mentioning that Volume 8 is very economical–there are only eight supplies needed for the whole book; we had all of the materials at home and didn’t need to buy any more to use this book.

There are 18 total lessons in this book, six video lessons and 12 text lessons.

How We Used This Book

PB & J Girl and I completed art lessons one day a week.  She used a variety of lessons, but she’s getting older and more picky, so she would only let me share certain ones on this post.

Video Lesson #2 asked her to get a stuffed animal and draw the lines.  She picked one of her favorites, a polar bear she’s had since she was little.


She watched Video Lesson #4: Colored Pencils, and chose a spotted rubber duck as her focus.

In Video Lesson #3: Identifying Light and Dark, she chose a picture of a white kitten asleep and tried to recreate it.

Although I think the kitten sketch turned out better than I could ever do, PB & J Girl is a bit of a perfectionist with her art, and she was not happy with her work.

Our Thoughts on Art in America

Compared to Volume 3 that we reviewed last year, this volume does seem to appeal to an older audience.  The videos were less childish, so PB & J Girl liked them more.  The techniques were also more advanced, which I think explained some of PB & J’s occasional frustration.  I really see sketching as getting down to the basics of art–it’s just the artist, a subject, a piece of paper, and a pencil.

PB & J Girl, I discovered during this review, much prefers to create art in several different types of mediums and with color.  She would have preferred that the book contain lessons only using color pencils instead of black and white sketches.

While we both enjoyed the video aspect of this book and the content lessons, the bottom line for us is that PB & J Girl does not want to be confined to one medium for the duration of a book.  She wants to do a variety of art projects–watercolor paints, colored pencils, sculpture, so this book wasn’t a particularly good fit for us.  However, I think this book offers older students an excellent way to increase their art knowledge and skill by focusing on one medium.

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I was one of 55 people to review a variety of ARTistic Pursuits, Inc. products.

To read more reviews, click on the link below:

Kindergarten to Third Grade Art following History in Chronological Order {ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Reviews}
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