Mayhem at the Museum: A Book in Pictures

Penguin/Workshop. Jun. 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593093542.
PreS-Gr 3–A little girl and her friends have a unique museum experience in this clever wordless book that literally brings the art to life. The pigtailed protagonist climbs the steps to an art museum, joining several children and an adult guide. As they traverse the museum, various paintings interact with them. Van Gogh hands the girl his straw hat, a Cezanne painting drops its fruit to the floor, a musician hands the girl his ukelele, and Degas’s little dancer leaps off her pedestal. At the tour’s conclusion, everything returns to normal, with the protagonist and the security guard sharing a wink. The art has a cartoonish style, portraying people with large, dotted eyes and small, sharp noses. Lozano maximizes his space, using full-bleed spreads, spot art and panels to effectively move the story forward. The story is entertaining and clever, with a diverse cast of children and adults experiencing new joy as the art comes to life. The simple plot is effective and arresting. Some images lack continuity, including a left page depicting only half a painting. Finally, all information about the art appears in tiny text on the copyright page, where it is likely to be missed.
VERDICT This is an appealing title, and libraries looking for wordless or art picture books might enjoy this additional purchase.

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