What a charming book! Targeted for children aged seven and up; bursting with reproductions of classic art, captured with color and energy breathing life onto every page – this visually spectacular and lovely little book teaches children about the artist Cézanne, helping set the stage for a life-long appreciation of his style, the moods he worked to capture, and the mysteries to be felt when you learn to let go and simply “step inside” a piece of art to let it speak to you.
As the narrator Jamie, and her little brother, Billy, visit a museum with their grandmother, they unexpectedly find themselves inside a strange new world, which they have somehow entered through a self-portrait of Cézanne, with no discernible path-way back to Grandma or the museum they came from. It’s only through their stumble-forward journey, requiring closer inspection of the painted world around them as they advance (and aided by snippets of guidance provided by the illustrated characters living within the classic works of art they find themselves immersed in), that the children come to understand art as a conversation with the artist, allowing them a greater appreciation for “Art” itself, the works of many grand masters, and a deeper identification and understanding of the marvelous work of the artist Cézanne.
A wonderful treat for art lovers everywhere, and in particular those wishing to help impart a similar spark in the children they share their worlds with – this book, its clever plotting, and the delightful lessons it seamlessly introduces – is not to be missed.
I’m looking forward to reading more in what I understand to be a series of similar artist-appreciation works from this wonderful author.
A great big thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.