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You Can't Take a Balloon into the Museum of Fine Arts Hardcover – April 15, 2002

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Dial (April 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803725701
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803725706
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 11.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,286,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After a visit to the Metropolitan Museum and the National Gallery, this series' third book finds a girl, her grandparents and a green balloon in Boston, You Can't Take a Balloon into the Museum of Fine Arts by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman, illus. by Robin Preiss Glasser. Like its predecessors, the wordless adventure features actual art reproductions amidst lively line drawings; famous Bostonians appear throughout. You Can't Take a Balloon into the National Gallery is now available in paperback. (May)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 4-In this wordless picture book, the family from You Can't Take a Balloon into the National Gallery (Dial, 2000) is on the road again-this time visiting Boston and the Museum of Fine Arts. Having previous experience with balloons and museums, the little girl entrusts her green inflatable to grandma and enters the building with her brother and grandfather. Inside they view the artwork of Pierre Auguste Renoir, Harmensz van Rijn Rembrandt, Jean-Fran‡ois Millet, Edward Hopper, John Singleton Copley, and others. Meanwhile, outside, grandma is consulting her Freedom Trail map when the balloon comes untied from her wrist, sending her in pursuit. On her frantic dash to recapture it, she and her ever-growing team of helpers sprint past or through Symphony Hall, the Boston Public Library, the Public Garden and Boston Common, Chinatown, the Tea Party Ship, Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, Paul Revere's house, the Hatch Memorial Shell, the Charles River, and Fenway Park before making it back to the MFA. Signage gives clues to the sites. As in the other books in the series, the action on the street is reflected in the artwork in the museum. Glasser's action-packed illustrations leave readers as breathless as grandma. There are several line drawings with color highlights per page. A key at the back identifies the artwork and the famous faces in the crowds. A fine elementary introduction to great works of art and a fabulous city.
Jeanne Clancy Watkins, Chester County Library, Exton, PA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Building on the enormous popularity of "You Can't Take A Balloon Into The Metropolitan Museum" and "You Can't Take A Balloon Into The National Gallery" Weitzman and Glasser now offer a fun, colorful peek at the Museum of Fine Arts while presenting an affirming grandparent/grandchild relationship.
Each full-color page bursts with vibrant energy as a little girl's balloon (not allowed inside the Museum) escapes her grandmother's grasp and soars away. Off we go, following the green orb through the streets of Boston. This chase is matched with the works of art the little girl is viewing.
There's a bit of history here, a bit of whimsy, and a lot of entertainment...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on July 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The Preiss sisters are back and taking Boston by storm, or should I say balloon. As in their previous books, You Can't Take A Balloon Into The Metropolitan Museum and You Can't Take A Balloon Into The National Gallery, a little balloon carrying girl and her brother visit the Museum of Fine Arts with Grandma and Grandpa. Everyone knows you can't take a balloon inside, so Grandma does the honors and waits outside on the steps, holding the treasured balloon, while the others go in and take their tour. In no time, the balloon escapes, and the fun begins. As life imitates the famous artwork the little girl is observing inside, Grandma chases the balloon all over the city from the Boston Library, Trinity Church, Chinatown, and the Boston Harbor, to Faneuil Hall, the Old North Church, Fenway Park, and many other famous landmarks along the way. This hilarious, joyous, manic romp, will mesmerize youngsters with it's exuberant and engaging pen and ink illustrations, with just a little color used here and there to highlight the action, and includes thirty-three hidden famous Bostonians, sprinkled throughout the comic book-like pages, to find and learn more about. Part art book, history lesson and travel brochure, this is a creative and inventive tour of one of America's great cities, and includes a map of the balloon's route, an informative list of artwork seen in the museum, and biographical sketches of the hidden "faces from history." Perfect for kids of all ages, You Can't Take A Balloon Into The Museum Of Fine Arts is a wonderful addition to an already terrific series, and guarantees hours of clever and imaginative, page-turning fun.
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By Deb Nam-Krane VINE VOICE on January 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This wordless book follows the adventures of a grandmother amd her ever-expanding group of helpers as they chase her granddaughter's green balloon through historic sites of Boston. Many of the people they encounter along the way- some of whom join in the chase- are updated versions of the famous works of art that the rest of the family is viewing at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts (or MFA, for those of us in the know).

One of my favorite paintings in the museum is of the writer and his wife on honeymoon (I don't have the name in front of me right now), and one of my favorite places to hang out as a young teen was the reading room of the Boston Public Library. I was therefore moved when I saw the painting mimicked in the reading room by two young, collegiate-aged lovers.

Some of the modern-day, Bostonian updates that worked were of the Indian god/juggler, the high-society horse riders/tennis players, and the modern art statue/umpire. Those I found to be creative and clever interpretations.

In some cases, though, I thought the interpretations were forced, most glaringly the update of the famous Renoir painting of the dance that was updated to have Grandma running into someone else. I also felt that the authors painted a rosier picture of Boston than, frankly, the one my children and I experience every day. By and large, the people we see sleeping on the Commons are not college-students going for a snooze, but the homeless and mentally ill. Further, while I love the Chinatown area, it is, unfortunately, coarser and less bohemian than the one the author's illustrate.

Finally, while I liked the idea of famous Bostonians hidden throughout the pages of the book, in many cases they were too well-hidden.
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