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The Museum
     

The Museum

by Susan Verde, Peter H. Reynolds (Illustrator)
 

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  When I see a work of art, something happens in my heart!
As a little girl tours and twirls through the halls of the art museum, she finds herself on an exciting adventure. Each piece of art evokes something new inside of her: silliness, curiosity, joy, and ultimately inspiration. When confronted with an empty white canvas, she is energized to create

Overview


  When I see a work of art, something happens in my heart!
As a little girl tours and twirls through the halls of the art museum, she finds herself on an exciting adventure. Each piece of art evokes something new inside of her: silliness, curiosity, joy, and ultimately inspiration. When confronted with an empty white canvas, she is energized to create and express herself—which is the greatest feeling of all.
With exuberant illustrations by Peter H. Reynolds, The Museum playfully captures the many emotions experienced through the power of art, and each child’s unique creative process.

Praise for The Museum
"Verde and Reynolds deliver a simple premise with a charming payoff… this “twirly-whirly” homage to a museum is, on balance, a sweet-natured and handsome celebration."
Kirkus Reviews

"Debut author Verde makes an engaging case for understanding art as an experience rather than an object."
Publishers Weekly

"The rhymed text captures the excitement of a being sparked by art.”
Booklist

"Communicates a fresh, playful, childlike perspective on art and normalizes childlike responses to it. The idea that posing, laughing, and curious questions are all appropriate museum behavior may be a new one for both children and parents, and knowing this is sure to make for more enjoyable museum visits."
School Library Journal

"For parents who have trouble communicating the excitement of art to their children, The Museum can serve as the starting point for a conversation. The book is also a wonderful reminder of visual art’s power to encourage and empower self-expression. Children and adults will finish this book excited about their next art experience, and perhaps tempted to dance through the halls of a museum in the near future."
Bookpage

"This playful picture book pays tribute to the joyous effect art can have on the viewer."
Shelf-Awareness

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
“When I see a work of art,/ something happens in my heart./ I cannot stifle my reaction./ My body just goes into action.” A girl in pigtails embodies the emotions elicited by the paintings she sees, leaping, twirling, giggling, and—inspired by the famous Munch work—even shrieking, as she tours a museum gallery filled with European and American masterpieces. The spirals of Starry Night make her spin, cubist portraits cause her to pull ugly faces (“He did it first!”), and Rodin’s Thinker moves her to sit and “analyze/ the whos and whats and wheres and whys.” An expanse of blank, white canvas puzzles her until she understands it as an invitation to project her own mental state onto it: “No longer blank,/ it’s my creation.../ I am feeling such elation!” Reynolds’s (Sky Color) swooping, calligraphic ink drawings give the pages balletic charm. The girl and her surroundings are rendered in light washes, while the paintings’ colors are full and intense. Debut author Verde makes an engaging case for understanding art as an experience rather than an object. Ages 3–7. Agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
"When I see a work of art, something happens in my heart," our young narrator explains; it is as if her "body just goes into action." We follow her through a museum as she physically reacts to the various pieces of art, and then takes a rest. Observing a still life painting, she notes: "I think I need something to eat. Those apples would be such a treat." We recognize many of the well-known works of art she responds to, although Reynolds uses watercolors loosely to suggest the originals. The girl's reactions are imaginatively emotional; she is "all twirly-whirly" for a Van Gogh, pensive for Rodin's "Thinker," and so on. Confronted with an empty canvas she is at first confused, but then encouraged to express herself. Leaving the museum, she is content. "It's rhythm exists in all I see. The museum lives inside of me." The front endpages display a score of pictures while the back endpages hold only empty frames and blank pages pinned to the walls, encouraging us to fill them with our own imagined art. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—In rhyming couplets, a girl describes her reactions to the exhibits in an art museum. A painting of a ballerina makes her want to pose, Van Gogh makes her "all twirly-whirly," some blue Cubism makes her "sad and blue," and she collapses in giggles at the sight of some squiggly abstract art. Finally, a blank white canvas first confuses, then inspires, her as she thinks of all the art she could fill it with. This book's strong point is the way it communicates a fresh, playful, childlike perspective on art and normalizes childlike responses to it. The idea that posing, laughing, and curious questions are all appropriate museum behavior may be a new one for both children and parents, and knowing this is sure to make for more enjoyable museum visits. Unfortunately, the pedestrian verse scans quite awkwardly, lessening the impact of the text. The explanation of the "blank canvas" is misleading as well-a white canvas hanging in a museum is likely not "mine to fill/the way I choose," as the narrator concludes. On the other hand, the cartoon illustrations are pleasantly uncluttered and full of energy. They include riffs on several famous works of art, though they are not identified by name and artist. An additional purchase.—Rachael Stein, Eastern Shore Regional Library, Salisbury, MD
Kirkus Reviews
Verde and Reynolds deliver a simple premise with a charming payoff. A lithe young girl (could she be the granddaughter of Jules Feiffer's Village Voice Dancer?) gambols through a museum and responds to the art on the walls. Excited and enchanted, she almost dances through the galleries filled with work by such greats as Munch, Cezanne, Degas, Rodin and Van Gogh. Though the story unfolds in sometimes-awkward verse ("When I see / a work of art, / something / happens in / my heart. / I cannot stifle / my reaction. / My body just goes / into action"), Reynolds' appealing pen-and-ink–with-wash illustrations are deceptively simple and wonderfully fluent. Employing a confident cartoony line that is at once elegant and eloquent, he adds subtle color to suggest and animate feelings and emotions. By the book's close, primed by all the works of art she has seen, she projects her own imaginative images on a large, minimalist, "blank" white canvas. As she regretfully leaves the galleries, she now knows that "The museum lives / inside of me." Despite the missteps provoked by Verde's verse, this "twirly-whirly" homage to a museum is, on balance, a sweet-natured and handsome celebration. (Picture book. 3-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781419705946
Publisher:
ABRAMS
Publication date:
03/12/2013
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
298,205
Product dimensions:
9.60(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author


Susan Verde teaches yoga to children. This is her first book. She lives in East Hampton, New York. Peter H. Reynolds is the illustrator behind the mega-selling Judy Moody & Stink series and the author-illustrator of many other bestselling and award-winning picture books, including The Dot, Ish, and The North Star. He lives in Dedham, Massachusetts.

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