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Speeding Down the Spiral by Deborah Goodman Davis

Speeding Down the Spiral

An Artful Adventure

by Deborah Goodman Davis illustrated by Sophy Naess

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0985556808
Publisher: Dgdfa

In this delightful debut children’s picture book, a young girl’s introduction to the Guggenheim Museum turns into a wild, unexpected adventure.

On a sunny summer Sunday, Dad takes Lizzie and Ben to “see some cool art” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. “This museum is’s shaped like a spiral!” says Dad. But Lizzie, convinced the experience will be a bore, imagines how much fun it would be if only the museum would turn into a giant water slide. But Dad proceeds with his plan, and off they go, taking the elevator up to the top floor. Just as they’re about to begin their descent down the spiral, Dad is distracted by a message on his cellphone; after a long wait, Lizzie starts down the ramp without him, pushing Ben in his stroller. Startled by Roy Lichtenstein’s painting of a large, fierce dog, Lizzie throws her hands up and lets the stroller go—and her baby brother begins a long, runaway ride. The chase quickly becomes madcap as a museum guard, a painter, an art teacher and her students, and other museum patrons join the frenetic parade of rescuers, while Ben, oblivious to the danger, revels in the fun. As the group runs after the stroller, Lizzie pauses just long enough to comment on various pieces of art, and in turn, the teacher responds with a bit of interesting information about each piece. Davis includes numerous bits of humor, as when baby Ben ends up wearing the artist’s beret and when Lizzie sees Andy Warhol’s self-portrait and says, “Andy should have brushed his hair for his portrait!” Naess’ appealing, colorful illustrations beautifully complement the reproductions of the museum’s artwork, and children are sure to enjoy this book’s clever, happy ending. The book’s “Credits” section contains helpful descriptions of each piece and additional information about each artist and medium. Davis also includes a helpful, well-written glossary of art-related terminology.

A whirling, twisting run through one of the world’s great museums that will charm young readers.