NONFICTION

Dr. Seuss’s Horse Museum

Random. Sept. 2019. 80p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780399559129.
COPY ISBN
Gr 2-4–In the early 1950s, Theodor Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) produced a manuscript and sketches for an unfinished work entitled Horse Museum. That material formed the basis of this new, completed edition. Seuss wasn’t a horse fan, nor is illustrator Joyner. Yet, the book’s 33 excellently reproduced horse “exhibits,” created by artists from different countries and historical periods, employ various art media and techniques. This isn’t a chronological survey, though artworks created in ancient times through the modern era are shown. This “museum” helps readers understand how various artists saw the same object—a horse—and interpreted it differently, e.g., in terms of line, color, speed, or emotion. The writing is simple and clear; the tone is conversational. Artworks by mostly American and Western European white men are included, with a smattering of works by women, and a few by Asian and Middle Eastern men. A painting by one African American man is on view as is a Navajo pictorial blanket. The illustrations feature greater diversity: Museum visitors include persons of various skin and hair colors, ages, sizes, body shapes, and physical abilities.
VERDICT While not a necessary purchase, this title will appeal to Seuss fans and scholars. Recommended for large public libraries and schools where budgets permit. Use to stimulate students’ creations of horses or other animals in any media.

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