Susan Verde, Author
Peter Reynolds, Illustrator
Abrams, Henry N., Inc., Mar. 12, 2013 (Release)
Suitable for Ages: 3-7
Themes: Museums, Art Appreciation, Creativity, Imagination
Opening: “When I see a work of art, something happens in my heart. I cannot stifle my reaction. My body just goes into action.”
Synopsis: A spirited girl visits a museum and is moved by the artwork she views. Much to her delight, each painting evokes a different emotional response. There is an unexpected encounter around every corner. She twirls to the swirls in Van Gogh’s Starry Night. She strikes ballet poses, yoga postures, skips through fields of flowers and pauses to ponder Rodin’s The Thinker. Picasso turns her mood blue and sad. Cezanne’s apples makes her tummy rumble. Miro’s lines and squiggles sends here into fits of giggles. Munch’s painting evokes a shriek. My favorite moment is when she stands before Ryman’s stark white canvas. Puzzled and wondering if it’s a joke, she closes her eyes and imagines a beautiful creation in her own mind. When the museum closes and it is time to leave, she comes to an important realization about the artwork.
Why I like this book: The Museum is a creative, moving and enchanting story written in rhyme. Debut author Susan Verde shows art as a personal and liberating experience for her inquisitive barefoot museum patron. Peter H. Reynolds’s illustrations are lively, dramatic, whimsical, colorful and complement the narrative. The girl dances across the pages. A lot of teamwork went into bringing this endearing story to life. Visit Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds at their websites. Reynolds is the award-winning author and illustrator of The Dot, North Star and Ish.
Resources: Both Susan and Peter hope their story inspires children to visit their local art museum and notice how art makes them feel. Show your children pieces of famous artwork, give them a pad of paper and encourage them to draw a picture about how a painting or sculpture makes them feel. Susan will soon have a curriculum for parents and teachers on her website.
Book Launch Party: Susan Verde and Peter Reynolds will celebrate the launch of The Museum on Saturday, March 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at The Blue Bunny, 577 High Street, Dedham Square, Dedham, MA. You are invited to stop by and meet them. They will be signing the first copies of their book.
Interview Mar. 11: On Monday, Beth Stilborn will interview Susan Verde on her blog, By Word of Beth.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.