Anna at the Art Museum

HUTCHINS, Hazel & . illus. by Lil Crump. 36p. Annick. Sept. 2018. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781773210438.
PreS-K—Bored at the art museum, a little girl decides to entertain herself by roaring loudly at the ceramic lion panel, running around the gallery, and trying to touch a modern sculpture that looks like a play piece. Her actions get her in trouble with the attendant and her mother. After a scolding from her mother, Anna "gazed longingly out at the street and the harbor beyond," wishing the museum "could be turned inside out. Or the world outside in." After a few more misbehaviors, Anna accidentally ends up in one of the museum workshops where artwork repair and restoration takes place. Anna perfectly relates to the painting of a bored girl (Little Girl in a Blue Armchair by Mary Cassatt), and feels a sudden change in her attitude, promising the ceramic lion that she will return as she bursts outdoors with her mother. Although the change in Anna's attitude is abrupt, her boredom will be relatable. Anna's frustration is obvious in her facial expressions, and the artwork in each gallery cleverly matches her behavior or feelings. For example, as she gazes out a window, her mother gazes at three landscape paintings. The digitally drawn artwork includes pieces of actual artwork, which are identified and described at the end of the book.
VERDICT Children will relate to Anna and adults may want to use the title as an introduction for a museum visit.

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