From School Library Journal
Grade 3–5—This collection of poems touches on the sights and sensations a group of children experience on a field trip. Inside the museum, they encounter a suit of armor, a mummy, a dinosaur skeleton, an ancient wheel, paintings (Picasso, Cassat, Renoir), a modern mobile, a fossil, and an old tapestry. Selections are by such poets as Lilian Moore, Jane Yolen, Alice Schertle, and Myra Cohn Livingston—one per spread—shown amid the subjects they portray. Each of Dressen-McQueen's folk-art-style "exhibits," carefully crafted in acrylic paint, oil pastel, and colored pencil, successfully captures and reinforces the mood of its accompanying poem. For a poetic museum field trip from a child's point of view, try Susan Katz's Mrs. Brown on Exhibit
(S & S, 2002). Both books can add excitement and fun to an impending museum visit or help inspire a class to summarize a recent trip.—Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
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The awe and curiosity that museums inspire is the subject of this bright, energetic poetry collection. The selections, contributed by many familiar poets writing for children, marvel at how easily artifacts transport viewers into history. Many of the poems read like private thoughts: "Pictures on the wall / look into lives / back when / I was not / anyone at all," writes Felice Holman in "Museum." In other poems, kids directly address ancient objects and make connections with their funny, casual words: "Hey there, Brontosaurus . . . How were the good old days?" asks the speaker in Lilian Moore's selection. Several poems add shivery drama by imagining ghosts come to claim their objects: "Watch for her tonight--tiptoe-- / across the cold tile--open-- / the glass shoe case / --reclaim her shoes," writes Kristine O'Connell George. Working in acrylic, oil-pastel, and colored pencil, Dressen-McQueen creates brilliantly colored, crowded spreads that greatly reinforce, rather than overwhelm, the meaning and mood in the well-selected poems. A perfect read-aloud before a class field trip. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved