MRS. BROWN ON EXHIBIT by Susan Katz

MRS. BROWN ON EXHIBIT

and Other Museum Poems
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

The lucky children in Mrs. Brown’s class are certainly not fieldtrip-deprived. They visit a wide variety of museums where they experience paintings, sculpture, mummies, dinosaurs, armor, clocks, and much more. They tour a train museum, a candy museum, and an exhibit of live butterflies. The poems are evocations of wide-eyed inquisitiveness and open wonder, as well as just plain fun. One child is fascinated and moved by a 2,000-year-old mummy whom she imagines whispering to her about her life in Ancient Egypt. Another child feels the permanent stillness of the sculptures, the mystery of Degas’ Little Dancer, and the inclination to step into the world inside a painting. The children scream and shout in excitement as they move through the interactive exhibits. A child complains that her partner keeps spoiling her concentration and plans some revenge. Katz’s (Snowdrops for Cousin Ruth, 1998) selection of words and phrases are at once remarkably precocious and realistically childlike. There is “wow” and “ugh” and “wait till you see this.” But there are also some lovely images. At the butterfly exhibit, a child “holds out her hand to flying jewels.” In the medieval armor hall, a child listens to the silence and breathes “Time instead of air.” The words flow unrhymed, joyous, clear, and sharp. Alley’s (Little Flower, p. 344, etc.) delightful cartoon-like illustrations emphasize the fun and the action, as they surround and move through the text. The layout is eye-catching. Endpapers depict museum “brochures,” the introductory poem appears before the title page, which is on the left side, and a school bus seems to be driving right into the table of contents. At the end, Katz provides a state-by-state list of unusual museums. A totally delightful romp (Poetry. 6-10)

Pub Date: July 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-689-82970-1
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2002




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