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How To Take Your Grandmother to The Museum.

How To Take Your Grandmother to The Museum. Lois Wyse & Molly R. Goldman (illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay). New York: Workman (800-722-7202), 1998. Hardcover, 48 pp., $12.95.

Museums seem to be increasingly popular, so it's no coincidence that three recent picturebooks have been published spotlighting these institutions. All three star a team of grandmother and granddaughter; all use photographic reproductions of objects in a context of lighthearted colored drawings; and they all have a humorous storyline with a more or less adventuresome plot. They all make a museum visit very attractive. The How To ... adventure takes place in New York City's Museum of Natural History and offers the youngster a chance to show off how much she learned from a previous school visit. Its cartoony characters help reinforce the pleasures of discovery and also help lighten up the somewhat didactic tone of the dialog. Katie and the artsy friends she meets when she "enters" the paintings are rendered in an Impressionistically loose style. Perhaps her adventures are somewhat forced, but her search for some flowers to give to her grandma for her birthday provides the consistent thread.

In You Can't Take a Balloon into the Metropolitan Museum, the yellow balloon's frenetic adventures are told without any text in sketchy line drawings with color used only for the actors involved in chasing the erratic windbag. We get a sightseeing tour of Manhattan simultaneously with a tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The details of both adventures will entice "readers" to return many times to pick up some missed sightings. All three titles are useful, even imaginative, ways of introducing the museum as a positive place and also some specific objects for further study. Youngsters in all elementary and middle school grades should enjoy them and the balloon's hijinks should attract all ages.
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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Marantz, Ken
Publication:School Arts
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 1, 1999
Words:302
Previous Article:Moving Toward a New Philosophy of Art Education.
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