Half of an Elephant

We took a break from our Purim preparations for the final installment of winter Stories in Art.  During this "investigation", the children were on the look out for clues about David Smith. 
First we listened to  Half of an Elephant.  It is a cute story about a time when the Earth splits apart.  All the animals get cut in half.  The elephant gets lonely without his other half and goes searching.  What makes the story perfect for this Stories in Art  are the illustrations.  Each illustration is a photograph of the animals built out of found objects. 
After the story, we visited his sculpture, Voltri VII.  Mr. Smith was not much into unique names for his pieces, many of which are numbered.  He liked working in series.  This piece was apparently inspired by the wagon wheels which he saw in Voltri. 

Next the kids all got to create their own sculptures using wood and metal.  Many of the children built wagons/car/buses using Voltri VII. as an inspiration.  Not Froggy.  She is an individual in all aspects.  She had a plan for her sculpture from the get go though I was not aware of it.  It was only once it was all finished I heard the story.

She was completely absorbed in the creative process and did it all herself.  The only help I provided was squeezing the glue when it was too hard for her and a bit of physics advice when her pieces would not do what she wanted.

Since this was the final installment, all the children who turn in a completed passport stamped from each session receive a prize. 
 The prize this time was a hardback copy of Sandy's Circus. It is a story about Alexander Calder, who we learn is nicknamed Sandy, and the circus he creates through his sculptures.  It is an amazing book with amazing illustrations.  Personally I do not know why it was not the story chosen to go with the study of Mr. Calder's sculptures.  We certainly enjoyed reading it.


  1. We just got Cakes and Miracles in on your recommendation from last week - looking forward to reading it!

  2. Sandy's Circus sounds fantastic - I am heading write over to the library site to see if they have it. Thanks for joining WMCIR!


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