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We Go to the Gallery

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  531 ratings  ·  94 reviews
Have you taken children to a gallery recently? Did you struggle to explain the work to them in plain, simple English? With this new Dung Beetle book by artist Miriam Elia – a tribute to and a parody of the much-loved British Ladybird early learning children's books of the 1960s – anyone can learn about contemporary art and understand many of its key themes. Join John and ...more
Hardcover, Dung Beetle Reading Scheme 1a, 46 pages
Published November 24th 2015 by Dung Beetle Ltd (first published July 28th 2014)
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Average rating 4.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  531 ratings  ·  94 reviews

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Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I picked this up at the Whitney because while flipping through it I could not stop laughing. I love art, and I love visiting contemporary art museums and exhibits, but I think it only works if you take everything with a grain of salt. This book is having a laugh at the seriousness of modern art and I think it’s hilarious. The layout is of a children’s book, and so it is literally readable in 5 minutes, but it’s a pure, good, funny time.

Staring at a pile of trash that is an art piece:
“The rubbish
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour, art

"Est doctrina de stercore"*

Those who were primary school age in 1970s Britain are likely to be familiar with the distinctive style of Ladybird books. They were only just above pocket-size and pocket-money price. The prose was plodding, with deliberately limited vocabulary, often about banal subjects, most memorably, “Shopping with Mother”. They had a distinctive non-serif font, and flat illustrations that looked a little old-fashioned, even at the time. But they have a nostalgic glow nowadays,
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Gosh! They are naked!"
Says John

"Is it bathtime ?"
Says Susan

"No." Says Mummy
"Its Body Objectification time."

Fantastically funny and witty. This is a parody of the old Ladybird children books that i read as a kid and i thoroughly enjoyed this sarcastic spoof!
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ladybird
"Is the art pretty?" says Susan.
"No,"says Mummy,
"Pretty is not important."

New words: pretty not important.

This book is superb, especially if you are not a fan of modern art. pleasantly rude, funny and to the point.
The art is very similar to the old Ladybird books, in fact this delightful read is identical in every way to the original design and binding.

Check it out, you know you should.
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is hilarious. I’m so happy that my daughter spotted these during a recent visit to a Miami bookstore. She knows my taste and knew that I would love them.

“John sees the painting.
‘I could paint that,’ says John.
‘But you didn't,’ says Mummy.'

I don’t care for modern art at all, so this book was especially funny for me. The sarcasm and wit are the best.

These books are very similar to the Ladybird books for adults. They’re not at all appropriate for children, and also some adults would
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Noura by: Jen Campbell
Shelves: favorites
This is a masterpiece.
Sunny Lu
Dec 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Maybe I should write my AP lit final satire essay on this children’s book... thanks Katie for this secret Santa gift, I enjoyed it
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
As someone who doesn't really enjoy the taste of contemporary art, I have to admit this is some high quality satire.
Chihoe Ho
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
I legitimately lost my sh*t at this satirical version of the classic Ladybird books, which I so fondly remember reading growing up. As pointed out by a friend of mine, if you replace Mummy in "We Go to the Gallery" with Satan, it reads just as well and makes all the more sense. Say, shall we go to the gallery now?
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“The rubbish smells,” says Susan.

“It is the stench of our decaying Western civilization,” says Mummy.

Melinda Szymanik
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant parody of the Peter and Jane style early reader books of my childhood. So few words and yet so many serious themes explored, all with tongue in cheek. A classic
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The masterpiece of our time.

Edit: I read it again today with a friend, and it's even more enjoyable this way.
Nick Phillips
Dec 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Pretentious arty parent? This is the book for you.

Frustrated in your artistic endeavours due to the demands of having a family? This is the book for you.

Forever being dragged to exhibitions in which you've no interest by parents who think they know best? This is the book for you.

Fondly remember Janet and John and want to keep those memories intact? Probably best to steer clear.
Simon Sweetman
Simon read this.
Simon pissed himself.
Simon is wet.
He is confused.
He is happy-as
Paloma Meir
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Only venture capitalists can play with this balloon," says Mummy.

The very best book I have ever read.
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the best.
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Possibly the best book ever written on contemporary art.
Momina M.
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it

"Is the art pretty?" says Susan.

"No," says Mummy,
"Pretty is not important"
Eddie Whitlock
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is hilarious. It will take you three minutes to read. It will be three of the best minutes of your life.
Sandra Ramirez
For fans of The Beaver Papers. Mummy and Mrs. Cleaver (of The Beaver Papers) have a lot to discuss over tea. And should not be allowed near knitting needles. Ever.
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
'John sees the painting.
"I could paint that," says John.
"But you didn't," says Mummy.'

Best book of this year. Seriously.
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Arguably the funniest book I've read in ages.
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, art
I first came across this book a few years ago at Book Expo America, and it stuck in my mind. For some reason I remembered it a few weeks ago, ordered a copy on-line and promptly forgot about it again until it arrived in the mail today. (I’m pretty certain this is a glaring symptom of book addiction, but in my defense I accumulate an irrational number of books on a regular basis.)

It’s a weird little book, a satire of mid 20th century children’s books and modern art in one tidy volume. I love
Is it a book? No. It is a fun book. It is a very fun book. It is an amazingly brilliantly funny book of pictures and art.

Art and fun!? Ooooh....

Before you drag your kids through the contemporary and abstract(is it?) art galleries, as I might do in near future, please read this book.

It will tell you why you should or not! :P

An ideal gift for expecting parents.

I loved the creativity in putting the new words, especially- almost every set of new words made many senses and those might not make sense
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of the best and funniest pieces of satire I have ever read!

Starting with the opening cover, inside notes, and the "credentials" of the author, this Dung Beetle Learning book will have you smiling! Many art patrons take themselves and their interpretations much too seriously. Art is to be enjoyed! This book, "We Go To The Gallery", will definitely help you to take a more relaxed approach to art appreciation.

Read and enjoy but please don't confuse this with a children's book -
Mar 25, 2019 rated it liked it
We Go to the Gallery is a fun book parodying those books whose aim it is to teach children new and exciting words, while also making a statement about modern art being both important and maybe not as suitable for younger audiences. While these are fine things to talk about, it's also a book that doesn't have much more value to me than being funny, but never the less, it's a good read for parents who are sick of the books it's parodying, art fans, and those with a little time on their hands.
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pictures-yay, eng, british
Once I was working in a youth house in Hungary and this was one of the two English books they had there (the secondition one being All My Friends Are Dead.) This is where the EU money is going to and honestly I couldn't be happier.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Amusing, if you’ve ever savoured or suffered the art world.
Barry Joseph
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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Miriam Elia MA RCA is a visual artist and Sony nominated surreal comedy writer. After graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2006, her diverse work has included illustrated books such as ‘We go to the gallery’ and ‘The Diary of Edward the Hamster,’ as well as prints, drawings, short films, radio comedy and animations. She frequently writes in collaboration with her brother Ezra Elia.