Monday, May 6, 2013

Picture Book Monday - A review of The Museum

I still remember the first time I went to a real art museum. My father took me to the National Gallery in London. I was so in love with the lions and fountain and Trafalgar Square that he had a hard time getting me into the museum, but once I was inside I felt as if I had been transported to a magical place. It was a magical place, and I will never forget how much I enjoyed my time there.

Today's book celebrates art museums and it explores the nature of creativity.

The Museum
Susan Verde
Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Picture Book
For ages 6 and up
Abrams, 2013, 978-1-4197-0594-6
One sunny day a girl goes to the art museum and when she looks at a work of art she doesn’t just see the painting or the sculpture, she reacts to it. As she tells us, “something happens in my heart.” Her response to the art cannot be contained and her body “goes into action.”
   When she sees a painting of a ballet dancer she feels that she needs to pose as a dancer does and stand on her “tippy-toes.” A painting of swirling stars in a night sky makes her feel “twirly swirly,” while a painting of a sad blue face makes her feel lonely and down. A field of flowers makes her feel skippy, and abstract colorful swirls and squiggles give her a fit of the “giggles.”
   Then the girl comes across a large empty canvas. What does it mean? Is the non-painting “a joke?”
   In this delightful picture book the author and illustrator celebrate art museums and the journeys and adventures that they allow us to take when we look at the artworks in their galleries. The story also explores the way art can be created out of nothing, cajoled out into the open by inspiration and creativity. The emotions the little girl in the story experiences seem to bounce off the pages, and the ending will give readers of all ages something to think about.

1 comment:

atelierstorytime said...

It really seems a great book to read to children! Thank you for reviewing it for us. I looked inside the it on amazon and the text seems to be very simple and nice to remember.
In fact I am always looking for picture books in English (but also in Italian and French) which can be used to teach foreign languages to children. So the text must be simple and the drawings useful to help to understand the story. This method is called teaching languages through stories (or storytelling) and I think it's a great way to help children to learn new languages.