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A MARVELOUS MUSEUM by Ingela P. Arrhenius


From the Bookscape Board Books series

illustrated by Ingela P. Arrhenius

Age Range: 1 - 3

Pub Date: Sept. 3rd, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-4521-7492-1
Publisher: Chronicle

Learn about the treasures museums hold in this intricately shaped board book.

Each page in this tiny handful of a board book is a dynamic silhouette that mimics the shape of an exhibit inside, ranging from a narrow, rounded sarcophagus page to the square of a glass-windowed diorama. Pages are thick and solid, and all together they look swell, multilayered and three-dimensional, though those unusually shaped edges also lead to quick fraying. Unfortunately, the pages’ thickness limits the length, and with only five double-page spreads, it’s short even by board-book standards. Related in alliterative descriptors, lines such as “discover details in dioramas and dinosaurs” are tongue-twistingly fun to read aloud, but heavy reliance on fairly complex vocabulary (“artifacts,” “architecture”) seems oddly mismatched to a toddler audience. Approachable, vividly colored art features stylized, nonthreatening versions of T. rex, animal dioramas, statuary, masks, and paintings rendered in a bold, graphic style with minimal detail and no shading. Child art patrons have a wide variety of skin hues, and their interactive poses, including one making eye contact with a taxidermied bear (all the art appears to peer back) or another imitating a mummy, make the experience of visiting a fine art museum feel accessible to younger audiences.

This sophisticated title will be a boon to adults planning a museum trip with young children. (Board book. 1-3)