Skip to main content

The Museum by Susan Verde, illustrated by Peter Reynolds

The Museum by Susan Verde, with exuberant illustrations by Peter H Reynolds, is a fantastic way to get your kids thinking (and moving) about art. A flowing poem, Verde takes her main character through the galleries of a great museum, describing the emotions and actions that the art inspires in her.

Susan Verde's description of how The Museum came to be, along with Reynold's words about illustrating her book, are so perfect for this review that I'm going to quote both here:

During a visit to a local art show in East Hampton, one of my children was looking at a still life painting of some fruit and suddenly became ravenous! To distract him from his rumbling tummy, I began to create a poem about how each of the pieces of art around us made us feel It was then that the idea for The Museum was born. It is my hope that this book will inspire children to notice how art makes them feel and ignite a desire to express themselves through their own creativity!

and from Reynolds...

What a joy to bring Susan Verde's words to life! The emotion in this book is exactly what fuels my own creative journey. It was fun to do my "ish-ful" nods to famous works of art and add a few of my own originals along the way. I hope the spirit of this book inspires you to visit a museum, fill your own art gallery, or just savor the emotions that make life a rich journey.

Verde and Reynold's words save me from having to get on my soap box and talk about the importance of creative expression, art and the value of exposing your children to museums. I realize everyone doesn't have access to museums, art, science, children's or otherwise, but make a point of visiting them when you travel, making the experience even more special. 

If you do plan on taking your little ones to a museum, don't miss David Goldin's Meet Me at the Museum a clever picture book that gives kids an idea what to expect, as well as some behind the scenes secrets, when visiting a museum!

Finally, don't miss these fantastic books by Peter H Reynolds about ways of creating and just what IS art!

Reynold's book Sky Color came out last year, completing his Creatrilogy, three fantastic picture books that take a very creative look at, well, creativity!


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…