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!