Mayhem at the Museum
Mayhem at the Museum

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Annotation: Paintings and sculptures come to life when a young girl visits the Metropolitan Museum of Art with her classmates. What ... more
Catalog Number: #210169
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 0-593-09354-2 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-7745-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-593-09354-2 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-7745-2
Dewey: E
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
In this almost-wordless picture book, five small children walk obediently through an art museum with their caregiver/teacher—and the art itself demands interaction.A very young child who presents Asian climbs the steps of an imposing, neoclassical building to join a racially diverse but similarly aged group lined up before a red sign that reads “No touching the art.” Their teacher and museum guard—both women of color in Lozano’s cartoony art—exchange understanding glances over the children’s heads. Once inside, the titular mayhem begins. After a character from a cartoony replica of a famous Renoir painting leans out to give the child figurative raspberries, an ersatz Van Gogh portrait hands over his literal hat. In room after room, additional works of Western European art unload hats, flowers, fruits, and musical instruments upon patrons whose expressions change from vexed to pleased; even the guard becomes a participant. The art is appropriately colorful and exuberant, with varied layouts. Unfortunately, the red sign becomes a didactic, unnecessary punchline. Lozano carefully places plaques next to each work replicated but fills them with scribble instead of useful information; the pieces are identified in tiny type on the copyright page. The strong effort to show diversity in museum patrons and workers is undercut by the highly Eurocentric representation of art depicted. Anna at the Art Museum, by Hazel Hutchins and Gail Herbert and illustrated by Lil Crump (2018), is more sophisticated and more engaging.Entertaining if limited arts appreciation. (Picture book. 5-7)
School Library Journal
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. Amy Lilien-Harper, Wilton Lib., CT
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Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (6/1/20)
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: P-2

Paintings and sculptures come to life when a young girl visits the Metropolitan Museum of Art with her classmates. What starts as just another tour of the museum becomes a joyful parade as the art, which must not be touched, touches the young museum-goers in surprising ways.

Images of works in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art are beautifully illustrated as dynamic characters by Luciano Lozano Raya in this wordless picture book. Famous paintings and sculptures from throughout the museum will be recognizable to adults while the mischievous breaking of the fourth wall will delight younger readers.

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