From the Publisher
"Another mindbending forray into a wordless metafictive narrative. . . . It's a playful subtle celebration of the possibilities offered by seemingly dry and dusty museums and, like museums, entirely worthy of several lengthy visits." -Kirkus, starred Kirkus Reviews, Starred
"Another winning picture book that blurs real and imagined worlds. . . . The sturdiness and clarity of the ink-lined, watercolor-and-gouache art juxtaposes wonderfully with the story’s airy world of imagination." —Booklist Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
"An equally evocative wordless sequence." -- Publishers Weekly, starred Publishers Weekly, Starred
"The payoff will come for those who are willing to make return trips to scan for clues (who else is wearing a medal?) -- as well as for those inspired to travel to a real museum as soon as possible." --Horn Book Horn Book
Lehman is a great miniaturist and copyist. She packs her museum with tiny, lively versions of modern paintings. And her watercolor labyrinths, subtly marked with stains, stamps and folds, have the spirit of Saul Steinberg's stylized drawing of official documents. She is witty, too.
The New York Times Book Review
On the heels of her Caldecott Honor title The Red Book, Lehman offers an equally evocative wordless sequence. A boy in a tomato-red sweatshirt, whose dot mouth and dot eyes make him look both tranquil and perpetually surprised, arrives with his class at a museum full of modern art. When he stops to tie his shoe, he stumbles upon a room with a case displaying a half-dozen old drawings of labyrinths (a statue of a slumbering Minotaur sits in the corner). Just as suddenly, he finds himself shrunk down and standing on the faded parchment of the first maze. Lehman uses warm sepia ink for the walls of the mazes, now shoulder-high to the boy, and hatching lines to give the walls dimension; the boy makes a bright contrast as he works his way through all six. With exquisite pacing, Lehman depicts a series of panels in which the boy enters the tower in the center of the final maze. Through a keyhole, readers spy someone inside hanging a gold medal around the boy's neck as a reward for his achievement. Then the boy returns to normal and rejoins the tour. Was the journey in the boy's imagination? The very last panel suggests it was not. Young readers will find endless satisfaction in traveling through the mazes with the boy, and art lovers will enjoy identifying some famous artwork. Ages 4-8. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
As she so ably demonstrated in The Red Book (Houghton, 2004), Lehman is a master of wordless storytelling. Here, our hero is introduced on the jacket, pulling aside a sheet of white paper or curtain to reveal the title, with a hint of the mazes to be found inside. On the cover he is seen in the maze almost reaching the center. On the title page he is in line to board the school bus, then, on the next double-page spread, he is looking out the window as the bus drives through town. He starts the museum tour with his class, but after stopping to tie his shoe, he finds himself alone and lost. His adventures while seeking his class take him into a room with many pictures of mazes. They become large enough for him to enter. He finally reaches the center of one, which ends his tour. He leaves the museum with a smile and a medal; so was it only his imagination? Lehman uses very simple line drawings colored with watercolor and gouache paints. They create an ordinary, if curious, youngster and an art museum filled with familiar-looking sculptures and paintings that offer a challenge for readers to identify. Another challenge is the solving of the mazes. Lots to both enjoy and ponder. 2006, Houghton Mifflin Company, Ages 4 to 9.
Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-In this wordless follow-up to The Red Book (Houghton, 2004), in which the characters enter the pages of a book, a boy enters a work of art. During a school visit to a museum, he stops to tie his shoe and loses his group. While searching for it, he comes across a display case filled with old mazes that capture his attention. On one spread, he is looking closely at a particular drawing, and the page turn shows him physically inside of it. He enters several different labyrinths; at the center of the last one, he finds a tower with a door and goes inside. Readers view him through a keyhole and see him receiving a medal. Afterward, he locates his classmates, but as they depart, youngsters will note that he still has his medal. The museum director also wears one: they are clearly both part of a special group. The bright, clean cartoons are done in watercolor, gouache, and ink. Single- and double-page paintings alternate with smaller panel illustrations. Close-ups of the protagonist walking through each maze are mixed with pulled-back shots that reveal the entire puzzle, with the boy a small figure inside of it. Children will pore over the cleverly detailed, interactive artwork.-Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Following on the Caldecott Honor-winning The Red Book (2004) is another mindbending foray into a wordless metafictive narrative. On a field trip to an art museum, a little boy stops to tie a lace and loses his class. Obvious alarm at the multiplicity of empty corridors branching out before him gives way to curiosity as he enters a small room with a display case of mazes-and then he's in the mazes, moving from one to the other with happy accomplishment until he is awarded a medal at the center of the very last. Lehman's two-dimensional line-and-color style adapts itself here to an Escher-like layering of dimensions-the little boy runs upright within the walls of a maze that's patently a flat piece of paper, complete with ownership stamps and creases. A reader who is tempted to consign his adventure to the realm of imagination will receive a jolt at the final image, which skillfully calls such a complacent assumption into question. It's a playfully subtle celebration of the possibilities offered by seemingly dry and dusty museums and, like museums, entirely worthy of several lengthy visits. (Picture book. 4-10)