A little boy visits an art museum for the first time in this fun, sweet picture book about first experiences and seeing things from new perspectives.
Simon is having a great time at the museum with his parents. There are slippery, slidey floors! Pigeons flying around the reflecting pool! And cheesecake in the café! But they’re not really here for any of that. No, Simon has to look at art.
And more art.
So. Much. Art.
There’s so much art that soon Simon needs to take a break and finds somewhere to sit. From his bench, he begins to notice how many different people are visiting the museum and the many different ways they react to the art they see. Some people are alone. Some are in groups. Some people smile. Some shake their heads. Some even shed a tear.
And Simon is right in the center of it, watching until he’s inspired to give all the art another try. By the end of the day, he may even find a piece that can rival a slice of cheesecake!
The pen and ink illustrations reminded me of classic children’s books, and I appreciated the clever take on a family’s trip to an art museum. Soontornvat’s dedication to her mom, “who taught me to love art and cheesecake,” added a nice personal touch to the story.
A great book for little ones about to experience an art museum (and adults about to experience an art museum with a child!) to give everyone a realistic sense of what the experience might entail, but as a story itself, not much plot.
Christina Soontornvat is the author of the middle grade novel <i>A Wish in the Dark</i> and <i>The Blunders: A Counting Catastrophe</i>. She is passionate about STEAM learning, which stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and math. This story was inspired by a trip with her young daughters to her favorite art museum in Fort Worth, Texas (which has excellent cheesecake). You can visit Christina online at Soontornvat.com.
As a young girl growing up in Tours, France, Christine Davenier loved listening to her older sister read fairy tales aloud. But she frequently found herself wondering, What does the princess’s beautiful dress look like? or How exquisite are her jewels? Christine was left to her own imagination, for the books had few illustrations. So it comes as little surprise that today, Christine embraces her career as an illustrator. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to create the illustrations I dreamed about seeing as a child,” she says. When Christine was fourteen, she received her first box of watercolor paints, a gift from her grandmother. That was the beginning of many afternoons spent painting together in her grandmother’s garden. “My grandmother was an extraordinary woman,” Christine says. “Even though she worked in an office all her life, she was an artist through and through. She shared everything she knew about color—in painting and in life. Her wisdom and talent still inspire me today.” She has illustrated many picture books, including The Other Dog by Madeline L’Engle and The Very Fairy Princess series by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton. Christine lives in Paris, France.
For my mom, who taught me to love art and cheesecake
For my dear daughter, Josephine