From the Publisher
The cartoon illustrations, rendered in pencil and digitally colored, provide an ample supply of visual jokes. . . . The myriad subjects of Hugo's paintings are quite amusing, and there are disguised works by Raphael, Hals, Van Gogh, and others in the museums. . . . Can spark a discussion about new ways to see everyday objects.
School Library Journal
Pencil and digitally colored illustrations add whimsical details--like an art-stealing raccoon--to the wordplay. . . . Charming.
Selected for as a "Reading right" book for beach or bedtime.
New York Post
Hugo, a blue pachyderm who loves to paint, is "in an elephunk." He surrounds himself with portraits of his animal friends, images of local buildings and still lifes of his favorite foods. But the paint is not yet dry on his latest masterwork (a picture of a wall socket) when he laments, "I've run out of ideas!" Hugo's friend Miles, a scruffy brown dog, proposes a getaway to Paris; there, Miles plans to test his new invention, a silver antenna-like contraption. Soon the friends are enjoying Montmartre and a dejeuner sur l'herbe(posed as in the famed Manet painting-though without the nude companion). At museums, Hugo contemplates an enormous painting of St. George and the dragon (his paintings could be "Hugo-mongous" too, says Miles) and checks out Van Gogh (he could become "Van Hugo," Miles suggests). Inspired by the Impressionists, Hugo considers painting "with light" ("Hu-glow," quips Miles), and takes in the view from the Eiffel Tower. "Wow!... Tons to draw!" Hugo exclaims. He decides to paint his hometown from rooftops, from cellars and in experimental palettes. In playful cartoons of pencil and digital color, Magoon (Ugly Fish)provides tourist views of Paris that feature recurring characters like a raccoon art thief and a perky red bird. Disappointingly, Miles never explains his invention, which is pure plot device-it is attached to the Eiffel Tower and forgotten. Instead, Magoon focuses on how Hugo gets his groove back, and budding artists will be encouraged to try fresh perspectives. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal
When Hugo, an elephant, finishes his painting of an electrical outlet, he realizes that he has painted everything in Cornville and is fresh out of ideas. His canine friend, Miles, suggests a trip to Paris for inspiration. Days of exploration prompt the artist to consider various possibilities, such as becoming Van Hugo, who paints impressions of his feelings; working in one color as "Hue-Go"; or creating "Hugo-mongous" canvases. But it is his vision of a completely different Paris as he views the city from atop the Eiffel Tower that finally convinces Hugo to return to Cornville where he "can paint everything all over again, only differently." The cartoon illustrations, rendered in pencil and digitally colored, pro-vide an ample supply of visual jokes. Cornville is the home of "Soft's Hardware" and "Munchie's Grocery." "Get There Air" takes Hugo and Miles to Paris and "Been There Air" flies them home. The myriad subjects of Hugo's paintings are quite amusing, and there are disguised works by Raphael, Hals, Van Gogh, and others in the museums. The paintbrushes and wrenches on the endpapers exemplify the two friends' occupations, and the French street map, passport, and guide-book on the title pages foreshadow their trip. This story, along with Michelle Markel's Dreamer from the Village: The Story of Marc Chagall (Holt, 2005), can spark a discussion about new ways to see everyday objects.
Marianne SaccardiCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.