Reviews for Museum ABC


Booklist Monthly Selections - #2 November 2002
K-Gr. 3. Imagination and creativity abound in this brilliantly simple alphabet book from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Each page has its minimal text, as in "A is for Apple" facing a page of four images taken from the vast collections of the Met. There are objects children see every day, an egg, a tree, an umbrella, and parts of themselves, such as feet, hair, and nose. "M is for Monster" produces pictures too beautiful to be scary, including Walter Crane's Beast, and a creature from a fifteenth-century tapestry. "O is for Ox" and "P is for Peacock." They are clearly chosen for the range of fabulous images: an Italian ivory ox from a book cover plaque from the first millennium; a peacock from a nineteenth-century Will Bradley poster. The oversize letter and the word it signifies are printed in color, a hue that picks up one of the colors of the art on the opposite page. Pictures are taken from a timeless array of countries, media, and artists. Very pleasing to look upon, this illuminates lessons in color, form, shape, diversity, and artistic vision as well as the alphabet. ((Reviewed November 15, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2003 Spring
In classic alphabet-book style (""A is for Apple""), each capital letter is presented on a white page. On the facing page are four pictures of the named object--details from works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection. The art is varied and sometimes surprising--a sunset, glowing windows, candles, and a cannon firing represent ""light."" The works of art are identified at the back of this handsome book. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2002 July #2
For anyone interested in developing the visual vocabulary of a small child, this is the way to do it. The word chosen for each letter is represented by details from four works of art in the Met's collection. "A" is for Apple, of course, but what vastly different interpretations: the abstraction of Roy Lichtenstein's Red Apple can be compared to the simplified shapes of the apples on a Greek terracotta circa 460 b.c., while the colorful, impressionistic apples of Paul CÚzanne have a counterpoint in the realism of Brian Connelly's watercolor. The lucky child who can visit the Metropolitan with alphabet book in hand will have fun tracking down some of the works. And those who don't live near the Big Apple may be enticed into their local museums to find representations of the words chosen here in other collections. A treat for anyone, but particularly for art lovers and their budding connoisseurs. If it were in a bigger format, one might be tempted to keep it on the coffee table. (Picture book. 2-6) Copyright Kirkus 2002 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2002 July #4
Images fine and funky accompany each letter of the alphabet in three noteworthy offerings. Museum ABC from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, for example, announces "A is for Apple" while, opposite, a full-color spread divided into quadrants presents the evidence with details from Roy Lichtenstein's Red Apple, a detail from Paul CÚzanne's Apples and two other works from the museum's collection. "N" features the noses of Giorgio de Chirico (a detail from his Self-Portrait) and Nefertari Kneeling in Adoration, a detail from the subject's Egyptian tomb, among others. Back matter provides further information about each artwork. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2002 September
PreS-Gr 3-Alphabet books are a dime a dozen, and the text of this one is no different than most: "A is for apple. B is for boat." What saves it from banality is the artwork. For example, the letter "D" is illustrated with reproductions from around the world-three male dancers from 16th-century India; a fierce, masked performer of 18th-century Japan; a rather surreal-looking pair of Colombian dancers; and an Impressionistic bevy of ballerinas by Degas. It is a shame that all this outstanding art has not been given a more thoughtful and exciting layout. Each spread contains a page of text facing a leaf of details from works of art tightly and symmetrically situated in evenly divided, square slots. The reproductions themselves are excellent, often humorous, and always eye-catching, but the book itself seems mainly intended to showcase the extensive holdings of the Metropolitan Museum. Still, it is a nice introduction to famous paintings, but may be most appreciated by visitors to the museum.-Laurie Edwards, West Shore School District, Camp Hill, PA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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