This magical and wordless book takes children on a wonderful museum trip as our hero gets lost--and then found--in the exhibits both figuratively and literally. Apart from his class, the boy enters into the world of a labyrinth exhibit, jumping from one to the next as he completes each maze--and is rewarded with a medal at the end. He pops out of the exhibit and rejoins his class...but is there more to his journey than meets the eye? Recommended for ages 4 and up.
Museums: filled with mysterious, magical art and curiosities? Or secrets? And what might happen if a boy suddenly became part of one of the mind-bending exhibits? Join the fun in Museum Trip, by Barbara Lehman, the author-illustrator of the Caldecott Honor–winning The Red Book.
Barbara Lehman has illustrated many books for children, including The Red Book, which was awarded the Caldecott Honor in 2005. Born in Chicago, Barbara attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where she earned a BFA in communication design. A full-time illustrator, Barbara says, "Books and art have always held the strongest attraction for me. I have always felt drawn to commercial art because of its ability to reach many people. I like the idea of being part of the media in a meaningful and thoughtful way, especially with children as the audience." She lives in the Hudson Valley in upstate New York. Visit her website at www.barbaralehmanbooks.com.
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.
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.
* "Another mindbending foray into a wordless metafictive narrative. . . . 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." Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "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 storys airy world of imagination." Booklist, starred review
* "An equally evocative wordless sequence." Publishers Weekly, starred review
"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
"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." New York Times Book Review
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