MATISSE ON THE LOOSE by Georgia Bragg

MATISSE ON THE LOOSE

Age Range: 8 - 11
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Eleven-year-old narrator Matisse’s mother is head of security for the local art museum, where an exhibit of Henri Matisse’s paintings is scheduled at the same time as a security-system overhaul. While the alarms are turned off, Matisse (the middle child, between Frida and Man Ray) gives in momentarily to temptation, replacing his namesake’s Portrait of Pierre with his own convincing copy. Events that overtake him before he can put the original back in its frame turn his childish misdeed into an inadvertent heist. Despite an occasionally choppy narrative, Matisse’s voice is just right for a sixth grader who is both caught up in the misery of a potentially disastrous error and distracted by his unconventional family and his loyal but blabby friend. Several laugh-out-loud moments and a number of credulity-stretching ones make for an odd mix of realistic, humorous fiction and tall tale, by turns genuinely funny and self-consciously amusing. A very good author’s note gives some background about Henri and Pierre Matisse and about the reality of art thievery. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: July 14th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-385-73570-4
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2009




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