MEET ME AT THE ART MUSEUM

A WHIMSICAL LOOK BEHIND THE SCENES

An engaging and enlivening introduction for kids and adults alike.

True to the subtitle, this book’s cover delivers an amusing yet informative tour of an art museum.

Once inside, endpapers reveal a museum floor plan complete with iconic signage to both orient youngsters and welcome them to a lively behind-the-scenes tour of an imagined museum. The guides are an old-school–style, green-paper entry ticket named Stub and a pink-and-white “Hello my name is” sticker called Daisy, the museum docent’s helper. Daisy takes Stub on a wonderful wander from the coat check through storage, galleries and more. Security and art protection are pleasingly detailed by the anthropomorphized museum security badge (Badge), even as the two continue to check out the museum’s kid-pleasing innards: temperature and climate controls, the cafe, water fountains, escalators, museum shop—even the art library. But when Stub wanders off into the conservation lab, a fan blows him into a freshly varnished collage (a humorous takeoff on Matisse’s Dancers).  Stub gets his wish. Firmly fixed on canvas, Stub is now part of the museum’s permanent collection. Author, illustrator and fine artist Goldin collages in a number of iconic, favorite works of art and cleverly enlivens the collection with his own appealing and marvelously amusing sculptural assemblages.

An engaging and enlivening introduction for kids and adults alike. (“Who’s Who at the Museum,” glossary, list of works) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0187-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Sept. 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

HOME

Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions.

Ellis, known for her illustrations for Colin Meloy’s Wildwood series, here riffs on the concept of “home.”

Shifting among homes mundane and speculative, contemporary and not, Ellis begins and ends with views of her own home and a peek into her studio. She highlights palaces and mansions, but she also takes readers to animal homes and a certain famously folkloric shoe (whose iconic Old Woman manages a passel of multiethnic kids absorbed in daring games). One spread showcases “some folks” who “live on the road”; a band unloads its tour bus in front of a theater marquee. Ellis’ compelling ink and gouache paintings, in a palette of blue-grays, sepia and brick red, depict scenes ranging from mythical, underwater Atlantis to a distant moonscape. Another spread, depicting a garden and large building under connected, transparent domes, invites readers to wonder: “Who in the world lives here? / And why?” (Earth is seen as a distant blue marble.) Some of Ellis’ chosen depictions, oddly juxtaposed and stripped of any historical or cultural context due to the stylized design and spare text, become stereotypical. “Some homes are boats. / Some homes are wigwams.” A sailing ship’s crew seems poised to land near a trio of men clad in breechcloths—otherwise unidentified and unremarked upon.

Visually accomplished but marred by stereotypical cultural depictions. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6529-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

I WISH YOU MORE

Although the love comes shining through, the text often confuses in straining for patterned simplicity.

A collection of parental wishes for a child.

It starts out simply enough: two children run pell-mell across an open field, one holding a high-flying kite with the line “I wish you more ups than downs.” But on subsequent pages, some of the analogous concepts are confusing or ambiguous. The line “I wish you more tippy-toes than deep” accompanies a picture of a boy happily swimming in a pool. His feet are visible, but it's not clear whether he's floating in the deep end or standing in the shallow. Then there's a picture of a boy on a beach, his pockets bulging with driftwood and colorful shells, looking frustrated that his pockets won't hold the rest of his beachcombing treasures, which lie tantalizingly before him on the sand. The line reads: “I wish you more treasures than pockets.” Most children will feel the better wish would be that he had just the right amount of pockets for his treasures. Some of the wordplay, such as “more can than knot” and “more pause than fast-forward,” will tickle older readers with their accompanying, comical illustrations. The beautifully simple pictures are a sweet, kid- and parent-appealing blend of comic-strip style and fine art; the cast of children depicted is commendably multiethnic.

Although the love comes shining through, the text often confuses in straining for patterned simplicity. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4521-2699-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015

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