WHO STOLE MONA LISA? by Ruthie Knapp
Kirkus Star

WHO STOLE MONA LISA?

by Ruthie Knapp, illustrated by Jill McElmurry
Age Range: 5 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

This inventive book’s $20,000 Pyramid category would be “What Mona Lisa Might Say.” Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa closely observes the people who come to see her in the Louvre: “People with up hair. People with down hair.” She hears the guide ask, “Is it a growing smile or a knowing smile? A shy smile or a sly smile?” and can even smell garlic on museum-goers’ breath. One fateful night in August 1911, she hears footsteps. Someone rips her framed self right off the wall. (“Ouch!”) Her Italian thief adores her, but he stows her under his stove for safekeeping: “Now, instead of crowds, I saw cobwebs. / Instead of admirers, ants.” The engaging, rhythmic-but-not-rhyming text fuses deliciously with McElmurry’s marvelous artwork--its flat, decorative style, skewed head angles, strong lines and rich gouache colors echo both illuminated manuscripts and the Sienese school of painting. Mona Lisa’s ever-changing expressions and comical details (such as a Maine fisherman with his lobster at the Louvre) are priceless. Ornamental borders and an occasional cartoon bubble contribute to the arresting design. A gem. (author’s note) (Informational picture book. 5-8) 

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59990-058-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2010




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