Tiny, bespectacled Charlotte is a young filmmaker who has discovered the joy of black-and-white cinematography.
In fact, color gives her a headache. Using her very black cat, Smudge, as a model, she shoots lots of monochrome footage, which is not always understood by her classmates. At the Museum of Modern Art, she encounters an artistic soul mate named Scarlet, who works in the film department. Scarlet introduces Charlotte to old black-and-white classics and arranges a screening of Charlotte’s film at the museum. The film is shown to great acclaim; she is the talk of the town, and even her classmates “embrace Charlotte in all her black-and-whiteness.” Mirroring the sophistication of Charlotte’s artistic ambitions, Viva’s design is funky and graphic, mostly monochrome and tan with touches of fuchsia, often for skin tones. He has a lot of fun with Manhattan signage, which pops out of the black endpapers and appears throughout the book. Surrealist figures populate the streets and peer out of windows. Aftermatter offers further information on the MoMA’s film department as well as brief bios of Lotte Reiniger and Jean Arp.
Similar in tone and feel to Young Frank, Architect (2013), this companion acts as both promotion for the MoMA and an encouragement to budding artists to think outside the box and pursue their dreams. (Picture book. 7-10)