You Can't Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum

You Can't Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum

4.2 4
by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman, Robin Glasser
     
 

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While she's in the Metropolitan Museum with her grandmother, a little girl leaves her prized yellow balloon tied to a railing outside. But its string becomes untied, and the balloon embarks on an uproarious journey through New York City. With an ever-increasing cast of wacky urban characters in tow, it soars past a host of landmarks. Eighteen famous paintings and

Overview

While she's in the Metropolitan Museum with her grandmother, a little girl leaves her prized yellow balloon tied to a railing outside. But its string becomes untied, and the balloon embarks on an uproarious journey through New York City. With an ever-increasing cast of wacky urban characters in tow, it soars past a host of landmarks. Eighteen famous paintings and sculptures are reproduced in this delightful, wordless book that explores the magical relationship between art and life.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
Lively, squiggly ink sketches...tell a vivid, happy tale.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Loaded with pizzazz, this wordless story takes readers on a great balloon chase that encompasses some of New York City's most celebrated sites. A grandmother and a girl holding a yellow helium balloon are stopped at the door of the Metropolitan Museum and a guard ties the forbidden toy to the banister, offering to keep an eye on it. The moment he turns away, a pigeon unties the balloon, and the guard is off and running to retrieve it. Detailed pen-and-ink drawings, punctuated with color to highlight the central action, show all the chaos that ensues, from Central Park to the Plaza Hotel to a production of Aida at the Metropolitan Opera. Into the scenes of mayhem, Glasser (Alexander, Who's Not [Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!] Going to Move) cleverly inserts reproductions of famous works of art, as viewed by the girl and grandmother, each a reflection of whatever action is going on around the balloon. In the onstage scene at the opera, for example, a dog walker, a zookeeper, a Plaza bellhop and others wreak havoc while the girl and her grandmother view an equally erratic painting (Autumn Rhythm) by Jackson Pollock. Some pairings work better than others, but Glasser's drawings capture all the energy and charm of a captivating city. Ages 5-up. (Oct.)
Just when you think that all of the imaginative ideas for new children's books have already been used, along comes a delight like this wordless (but fascinating) book. Many of the color reproductions from the Metropolitan Museum of Art come alive as a yellow balloon mirrors them in the streets of New York City, unbeknownst to the balloon's owner, a little girl going to the museum. Art appreciation at its best! 2000, Puffin Books, $6.99. Ages 3 to 8. Reviewer: A. Braga SOURCE: Parent Council, September 2001 (Vol. 9, No. 1)
Children's Literature
This clever, wordless picture book tells the story of a young girl's visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and her adventures with her yellow balloon. When she first enters the Met, the guard tells her that her balloon is not permitted in the building. After the girl begs incessantly, the guard allows her to tie the balloon onto a stair railing for picking up after her museum tour. Moments after the young girl enters the museum, a pigeon unties the balloon, setting it loose in New York City. Pandemonium ensues as the guard embarks on a chase throughout the entire city. From a poodle tripping and sliding onto an ice skating rink to the entire collapse of a Broadway set, the guard's journey to rescue the balloon becomes a hysterical slapstick comedy. Throughout the story, the artwork the young girl is viewing at the museum parallels the humorous escapades of the guard. Famous paintings, sculptures, and clay pots by artists like Degas and Pollack all help to tell the story of the guard's mission to save a single, yellow balloon. This story is quite delightful to read. Although readers must use their imagination to create dialogue, they will undoubtedly experience the frustration of the characters as they race through New York City in search of a lone balloon. The illustrator's sporadic use of color fits the story well. The black-and-white drawings communicate the hurried pace of city life without distracting from the colored pictures, allowing the reader to focus on the important details of the story. Finally, using real artwork throughout the book enables readers to begin to understand and foster an appreciation for fine art at a young age. Hence, Weitzman's picture book deserves muchacclaim for its creativity. 2000 (orig. 1998), Puffin/Penguin Putnam,
— Katie Casey <%ISBN%>0803723016
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
This jaunty wordless picture book follows a girl and her grandmother on a tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The balloon she carries must be left outside in the care of a museum guard. The balloon floats away and causes mishaps throughout Manhattan until it magically returns to the museum and the little girl. In the interim we are treated to great works of art as well as famous sites of New York such as Lincoln Center, Tavern on the Green, Central Park, and much more. A listing of the works of art from the collections of the Metropolitan is at the back of the book.
From the Publisher
"A wordless picture book that playfully echoes the style of Eloise and the substance of the Red Balloon.... Lively, squiggly ink sketches...tell a vivid, happy tale." —Booklist, starred review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140568165
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
01/28/2001
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
48
Sales rank:
502,353
Product dimensions:
11.00(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.13(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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From the Publisher
"A wordless picture book that playfully echoes the style of Eloise and the substance of the Red Balloon.... Lively, squiggly ink sketches...tell a vivid, happy tale." —Booklist, starred review

Meet the Author

Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman lives in New York City.

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You Can't Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
a fun intro to art, art history, genres, techniques, museums and research. kids have to ask questions, compare the book with the artwork, and then talk about what they see. I wish they were more books like this one for other museums or other cultural institutions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
After several 'readings' of this wordless book, my daughter and I took a field trip to New York City in order to visit the Metropolitan Museum. As we entered each gallery, I left it to Martha to spot the works of art depicted in this book. She unerringly picked out painting after painting, having recognized them from Ms. Glasser's illustrations. Each gasp of delight signified another work of art she'd 'discovered', from Washington Crossing the Delaware to Jackson Pollock's Autumn Rhythm (or, as Martha re-titled it, Beautiful Mess). It's easy to imagine this father's pride as his four-year-old spots a Van Gogh from across the room and shouts with joy, 'Vincent!' For children of virtually any age, this book is a tremendous introduction to the world of art. And don't assume your child is too young for such an education. If they can appreciate clever illustrations and an entertaining story, they'll love this book.