Bottle Tops: The Art of El Anatsui (Hardcover)

Bottle Tops: The Art of El Anatsui By Alison Goldberg, Elizabeth Zunon (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Alison Goldberg, Elizabeth Zunon (Illustrator)
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Children's Africana Book Awards, Howard University Center for African Studies
Editor's Choice Books for Youth, Booklist
Junior Library Guild Selection, JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD

The inspiring biography of Ghanaian artist El Anatsui whose handmade sculptures, created from discarded bottle tops, have received international acclaim and been showcased around the world.

"If you touch something, you leave a charge on it and anybody else touching it connects with you, in a way." -- El Anatsui

El Anatsui has always written his own story. As an art student at the University of Ghana, El noticed that the artists and styles he was studying were grounded in European traditions. Curious about his own culture's art history, El observed his people and found stories in the fabrics they wore and the way they used recycled goods. He decided to tell these stories through his artwork.

El experimented with different mediums--firing broken clay into new pots and cutting wood into sculptures using a chainsaw. Each time El tried something new, he brought with him the experience of all the experiments he did before. After coming across a discarded bag of shimmering bottle tops, El wondered What was their story? He experimented with the new material--disassembling, flattening, and reshaping--then stitched the tops together with wire. The result were large, flowing tapestries that tell stories about history, culture, and link people together. Today, El's bottle top sculptures are showcased all over the world inspiring audiences everywhere.

Here is the captivating story of a Ghanaian sculptor whose passion, creativity, and awe-inspiring artwork reminds us that creating powerful art is about being true to yourself.

About the Author

Alison Goldberg is a writer based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the author of I Love You for Miles and Miles. She blogs about activism in children's literature and loves researching everything from marine life to contemporary art for her books. Alison first learned about El Anatsui's work while studying art in Ghana in 1995 and has sought opportunities to see his sculptures ever since. You can visit her online at Elizabeth Zunon has illustrated several books for children, including Bottle Tops: The Art of El Anatsui, published by Lee & Low Books. Zunon spent her childhood in Ivory Coast, West Africa, and now lives with her husband and young son in Albany, New York, where she was born. Her honors include Bank Street's Best Children's Books of the Year list, the Children's Africana Book Award Honor, and a Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People selection. To learn more, visit
Product Details
ISBN: 9781620149669
ISBN-10: 1620149664
Publisher: Lee & Low Books
Publication Date: June 14th, 2022
Pages: 40
Language: English