Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Museum

The Museum

Susan Verde
Illustrator:   Peter H. Reynolds 
Picture Book
For ages 6 and up
Abrams, 2013   ISBN: 978-1419705946

One sunny day a girl goes to the art museum and when she looks at a work of art she doesn’t just see the painting or the sculpture, she reacts to it. As she tells us, “something happens in my heart.” Her response to the art cannot be contained and her body “goes into action.”

   When she sees a painting of a ballet dancer she feels that she needs to pose as a dancer does and stand on her “tippy-toes.” A painting of swirling stars in a night sky makes her feel “twirly swirly,” while a painting of a sad blue face makes her feel lonely and down. A field of flowers makes her feel skippy, and abstract colorful swirls and squiggles give her a fit of the “giggles.”

   Then the girl comes across a large empty canvas. What does it mean? Is the non-painting “a joke?”

   In this delightful picture book the author and illustrator celebrate art museums and the journeys and adventures that they allow us to take when we look at the artworks in their galleries. The story also explores the way art can be created out of nothing, cajoled out into the open by inspiration and creativity. The emotions the little girl in the story experiences seem to bounce off the pages, and the ending will give readers of all ages something to think about.