*Starred Review* Each night Janson the mouse explores the museum where she lives. Upon discovering the modern art section, “her little world opens.” She responds to the paintings, collages, drawings, and sculptures by creating her own, based on the ones she sees each night. When the modern wing is closed for renovation, Janson stares at the bare walls and looks forlorn. Not for long, though. She creates new pictures inspired by her old favorites and leaves her paintings on display. The museum director finds them and decides to exhibit her works, including her “mousterpiece,” the one picture painted in her own personal style. Following the story, which is pared down to the essentials, a four-page appended section, “Janson’s Favorite Artists,” includes a little information about the 22 artists represented, paired with postage-stamp-sized reproductions of each visual homage interpreting the modern masters from a mouse’s perspective. The book’s striking cover features a rectangular cut-out that frames the title-page illustration of Janson painting a jungle scene inspired by Henri Rousseau. On the pages within, the generous use of white space heightens the impact and the color intensity of the artwork. A charming introduction to modern art, an inspiring starting point for young art students, and a tribute to the way art can spark imagination. Preschool-Grade 3. --Carolyn Phelan
"Mousterpiece is a gem of a book and we thank you for sharing your wit, wisdom, and love of art with us." - Lynn Berkowitz, The Barnes Foundation
Capitol Choice Award 2013 Best Book List Washington D.C.
"Portrait of An Artist as a Young Mouse"on MOUSTERPIECE and why bring modern art to young children is in "Children & Libraries" /
The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children, VOLUME 11 Number 3, December 2013 ALSC Winter Issue. Pages 16-19.
Art activities related to this book will be at the end of the article along with a Booklist of my top ten children's books on becoming an artist.
And/or View article also on my website: janebreskinzalben.com and click on "Articles" at the top of the main page.
Bank Street College of Education Best Books List 2013
blog interview by julie danielson: blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings/?p=2419
“In this particular world, everyone knows that mice, as much as any other rodents, enjoy scampering around kitchens scaring the heck out of people, but what they really like to do is make art….Janson, the mouse in Jane Breskin Zalben’s ‘Mousterpiece’ (named after the art historian H.W. Janson), has the advantage of living in an actual art museum, ‘tucked into the corner of a room filled with beautiful old furniture.’”--New York Times
"A charming introduction to modern art and an inspiring starting point for young art students.”--Booklist, starred
"...a terrific springboard for aspiring young artists everywhere.”--School Library Journal
"The joyful clarity of both vision and execution thrills.”--Kirkus, starred
"sweet-tempered parodies of modern artists…offer an opportunity for adult-child discussion…”--Publishers Weekly