illus. by Joanna Boillat. 32p. Minedition. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9789888341436.
K-Gr 3—The giant sculpture of a white bear nicknamed "Pompon," the work of artist François Pompon, is the subject of this lyrical book. Mostly told from the sculpture's perspective, the narrative discusses a momentous visit from a fictional boy named Leo. Elegant lines, broad forms, and muted colors convey the different perspectives from which Leo examines, observes, and admires the large, static statue. When the boy gently strokes Pompon's cheek, a guard harshly admonishes Leo but quickly the guard's anger melts, almost as though he has been in Leo's position before. Unbeknownst to either man or boy, Leo's touch has magic. The transformation of Pompon and of the guards is conveyed visually through illustrations more richly hued. The magic allows the guards to appreciate the statues differently; it is Pompon's twin now residing in the museum. "And he is waiting for someone like you to visit him." A brief afterword describes the actual statue by François Pompon and the French museum where it is currently housed.
VERDICT This handsomely illustrated, imaginative story is an engaging invitation to examine art, museums, and even people differently, and with empathy.

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