The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum

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Overview

Once there was a girl who lived in a castle. The castle was inside a museum. When children visited, they’d press against the glass globe in which the castle sat, to glimpse the tiny girl. But when they went home, the girl was lonely. Then one day, she had an idea! What if you hung a picture of yourself inside the castle inside the museum, inside this book? Then you’d able to keep the girl company. Reminiscent of “The Lady of Shalot,” here is an original fairy tale that feels like a dream—haunting, beautiful, and ...

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The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum

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Overview

Once there was a girl who lived in a castle. The castle was inside a museum. When children visited, they’d press against the glass globe in which the castle sat, to glimpse the tiny girl. But when they went home, the girl was lonely. Then one day, she had an idea! What if you hung a picture of yourself inside the castle inside the museum, inside this book? Then you’d able to keep the girl company. Reminiscent of “The Lady of Shalot,” here is an original fairy tale that feels like a dream—haunting, beautiful, and completely unforgettable.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Italian artist Ceccoli's (The Barefoot Book of Fairy Tales) previous illustrations were dreamy paintings; for this tall-format book, she uses clay models and digital media to create images of eerie immediacy. Each scene has its own quirky depth of field; the porcelain-doll faces of the children jump out with breathtaking clarity. Walls and drapes or the breeches of a rabbit violinist are similarly crisp; the other parts of a composition seem lightly misted. The surreal atmosphere is true to fairy-tale scholar Bernheimer's vision of a girl imprisoned in a marvelous world. The castle inhabited by the girl is inside a glass globe, which is in a museum full of old toys; children who visit the museum crowd around the globe to see the girl. She is lonely; her only visitors come in dreams. "Sometimes," the narrator adds provocatively, "the girl in the castle even dreams about you." The narrator suggests that readers ease the girl's loneliness by pasting a photo of themselves in a gold frame by her bed. Closing the book with a bang-up twist, the author inverts her this-inside-that motif to enshrine the audience's place in the story: "Now in her room and in her dreams, inside the castle inside the museum, inside this book you hold in your hands, you keep her company.... Do you see her? She sees you." Young fans of fantasy will be spellbound. Ages 8-up. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Joan Elste
Elegantly-written and beautifully-illustrated, this is a multi-faceted fantasy story. A glass globe sits in a museum on display, enticing the reader to look closely to see the tiny girl that lives inside. The idea is unusual and intriguing and the illustrations pull the reader into the fairy-like quality of the story. What is interesting is that the reader is not immediately aware that the story begins from the outside of the globe in the museum, it so subtly pulls them inside by shifting the view. A child will feel the loneliness of the tiny girl even though she has many distractions in the castle and special places she loves to sit. She often dreams of children coming to the museum to visit her. The narrator draws the young reader even further into the story, saying the young girl even dreams about "you." There is a place on the last page to leave a picture of yourself so she will always remember you. A lovely thought out story with a wonderful, unique idea. Well done. Reviewer: Joan Elste
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3- "Getting lost in a good book" takes on a whole new meaning in this intriguing and captivating title. In an eclectic toy museum, children are drawn to a snow globe where it is said that, if they look hard enough, they can see the little girl who lives in the castle therein. To their delight, she is visible, as is her entire enchanted world. The girl is lonely when the museum empties, and she dreams of other children visiting her. She awakes with an idea of asking her visitors to leave a photo behind and, as if readers obeyed, the text asks, "Do you see her? She sees you." Using media as varied as clay sculpture and photography, Ceccoli has created a world that beckons young readers inside. The aerial ballet of objects and the playful use of perspective all contribute to the wondrous nature of the place. Children will eagerly enter this special world, pore over the amazing toys, and secretly wish they lived there themselves. This unusual book will jump-start the imaginations of all who are lucky enough to enter it.-Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The princess-like girl of the title is lonely within her idyllic, sequestered world until she is visited by children, either in dreams or in reality. Her solution is to address readers directly and ask for a picture to hang in her solitary castle to "keep her company in a magical world." Written by an eloquent fairy-tale writer-scholar and illustrated by a much-honored picture-book artist, this defies easy definition. Clearly "the museum" represents the metaphorical archive where fairy-tale collections regrettably gather dust, and this enigmatic tale is a plea for children to enter their immutable worlds within worlds, lest the tales be isolated and lost forever. The text is grandly supported by Ceccoli's chimerically beautiful paintings rendered in acrylic, which depict the girl's phantasmagorical world. A bit of a mystical allegory, but also an invitation too good to decline for the fairy-tale lovers among us. (Picture book. 4-8)
From the Publisher
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, February 4, 2008:
"Young fans of fantasy will be spell-bound."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375936067
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 2/12/2008
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate Bernheimer is the author of the picture book The Lonely Book. She has also written novels for adults, and is the editor of the literary journal Fairy Tale Review. She is an assistant professor of creative writing in the MFA program at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. She lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, with her husband and daughter.

Nicoletta Cecolli is the illustrator of many acclaimed picture books published around the world, including The Barefoot Book of Fairy Tales, retold by Malachy Doyle. She lives in San Marino, Italy.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 21, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    My grandaughter Amber is seven and loves this book..we read it over and over agin. The illustrations are terrific. I recommend this book to anyone who likes fairy tales. Can not wait to see more from this auther and illustrator.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2014

    BOO

    BBLA BLA BLA STUPID STUPID STUPID

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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