Staff Pick by Kallie E.
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.
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. ~Barnes & Noble