Anna, a spirited girl of about 3, exhibits many of the symptoms of boredom—until a museum guard gives her and her mother a special opportunity.
From the moment Anna sits frowning on a tired-looking, aquamarine sofa, waiting for her mother to pay admission, text and art combine to create a funny frolic through the galleries. While Anna and the other museum visitors are cartoonlike in appearance, the artworks on each page are excellent reproductions of works found in art museums around the world (a key is in the backmatter). The sight gags are playful and plentiful, revolving around the resemblance of people and things in the gallery to the art on display—which is, of course, the point of the book. Children will enjoy detecting the artistic echoes of real life on every page. Some are subtle, but others will bring immediate laughter—as when Anna inadvertently sets off an alarm and the faces and hands of adults in the gallery resemble those in Edvard Munch’s The Scream. Text is in clear, sans-serif type, and it includes this wistful thought from a subdued Anna as she gazes out the window (at a Monet-esque harbor scene): “If only the museum could be turned inside out. Or the world outside in.” Her epiphany is on the way. Anna and her mom have brown skin and straight, black hair; other museumgoers are diverse.
Clever and endearing. (Picture book. 3-7)