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MUSEUM TRIP by Barbara Lehman Kirkus Star


by Barbara Lehman & illustrated by Barbara Lehman

Age Range: 4 - 10

Pub Date: May 22nd, 2006
ISBN: 0-618-58125-1
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Following on the Caldecott Honor-winning The Red Book (2004) is another mindbending foray into a wordless metafictive narrative. On a field trip to an art museum, a little boy stops to tie a lace and loses his class. Obvious alarm at the multiplicity of empty corridors branching out before him gives way to curiosity as he enters a small room with a display case of mazes—and then he’s in the mazes, moving from one to the other with happy accomplishment until he is awarded a medal at the center of the very last. Lehman’s two-dimensional line-and-color style adapts itself here to an Escher-like layering of dimensions—the little boy runs upright within the walls of a maze that’s patently a flat piece of paper, complete with ownership stamps and creases. A reader who is tempted to consign his adventure to the realm of imagination will receive a jolt at the final image, which skillfully calls such a complacent assumption into question. It’s a playfully subtle celebration of the possibilities offered by seemingly dry and dusty museums and, like museums, entirely worthy of several lengthy visits. (Picture book. 4-10)