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Museum Trip Hardcover – May 22, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 4 In this wordless follow-up to The Red Book (Houghton, 2004), in which the characters enter the pages of a book, a boy enters a work of art. During a school visit to a museum, he stops to tie his shoe and loses his group. While searching for it, he comes across a display case filled with old mazes that capture his attention. On one spread, he is looking closely at a particular drawing, and the page turn shows him physically inside of it. He enters several different labyrinths; at the center of the last one, he finds a tower with a door and goes inside. Readers view him through a keyhole and see him receiving a medal. Afterward, he locates his classmates, but as they depart, youngsters will note that he still has his medal. The museum director also wears one: they are clearly both part of a special group. The bright, clean cartoons are done in watercolor, gouache, and ink. Single- and double-page paintings alternate with smaller panel illustrations. Close-ups of the protagonist walking through each maze are mixed with pulled-back shots that reveal the entire puzzle, with the boy a small figure inside of it. Children will pore over the cleverly detailed, interactive artwork. Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* PreS-Gr. 2. Working in the same uncluttered style and wordless format as she did in The Red Book, a 2005 Caldecott Honor Book, Lehman offers another winning picture book that blurs real and imagined worlds. On a class trip to an art museum, a boy lags behind and becomes lost. While searching the galleries (filled with Lehman's skillful reproductions of the masters), he finds a series of labyrinth drawings, and in the following frames, he shrinks to a diminutive size and enters the mazes. Lehman uses inventive, shifting perspectives that combine aerial views with close-ups of the boy in the puzzles. At the completion of the final maze, a set of hands loops a medal around the boy's neck. The boy then pops back into the real world, but he finds the medal tucked into his shirt--a tantalizing suggestion that the adventure wasn't imagined. The sturdiness and clarity of the ink-lined, watercolor-and-gouache art juxtaposes wonderfully with the story's airy world of imagination. Some children may find the labyrinth scenes a bit repetitive, but Lehman's clever celebration of the fun and power found in art and daydreamed departures will easily draw an audience. For other fanciful museum stories suggest Anthony Browne's The Shape Game (2003). Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (May 22, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618581251
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618581252
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Barbara Lehman has illustrated many books for children. Born in Chicago, Barbara attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where she earned a BFA in communication design. A full-time illustrator, Barbara says, "Books and art have always held the strongest attraction for me. I have always felt drawn to commercial art' because of its ability to reach many people. I like the idea of being part of the media in a meaningful and thoughtful way, especially with children as the audience." She now lives in Philmont, New York.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Let it never be said that picture book creators aren't stretching the very definition of what a "picture book" even is. Now Barbara Lehman strikes me as a uniquely gutsy woman. Here we have somebody who isn't afraid to create the occasional small masterpiece. Remember her Caldecott Honored, "The Red Book"? Or rather, the book within a book within a book? Well apparently the success of that little number gave her the wherewithal to go in a different direction with her follow-up, "Museum Trip". Recently on a children's literature listserv someone asked for children's books that could conceivably be said to use magical realism. If that person ever happens to want a little magical realism picture book action, have I got the author/illustrator for them!

A boy goes to the museum. Sounds fairly simple. But, you know, museums can be difficult places to navigate. And no sooner does our hero look down to tie his shoe than he is lost in a massive artsy space without his class. He pokes and prods about, finally stumbling across a small room without a doorknob. Inside, he finds a glass case containing six drawn mazes. He stares intently at the first one and before you know it the boy is within the labyrinth, navigating it from the inside. Each time the boy finishes one he races along to the next. Finally, by maze #6, he is able to reach a tower located at the center. Suddenly the viewer gets closer and closer to that tower's keyhole, through which we can see some unseen person awarding the boy a golden medal. The maze done, the boy is back in the room and he is able to quickly locate his class once more. As he leaves the museum, however, it's evident that he still has the medal affixed tightly to his neck.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Anne B. Levy on June 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
It's no secret that kidlets "read" illustrations, mostly by puzzling out the visual clues and piecing together a narrative, even if makes sense only to them.

There aren't any words in this book, so it's up to parent and child to decide what goes on as a boy in a red hoodie makes his way through a museum on a school trip. You follow that red hoodie off the bus and into a gallery with its sprinkling of recognizable masterpieces by Van Gogh, Matisse and many others.

The boy looks up after tying his shoe and his classmates have vanished. He wanders alone into a side exhibit of mazes and is suddenly transported into the meandering constructs. Here's where it gets murky -- is he imagining this, or is this a fantasy device?

Keep your eye on the hoody. The splash of crimson creates a visual trail of crumbs for readers, pulling our eyes along as the boy makes his way through the inky sketches on faded sienna parchents to a tower in the middle of the final maze.

Lehman brings us closer, closer, as we zoom in on the tower and the streaked, stained paper, until we peer through a keyhole to see a gold medal placed around his neck.

The perspective lurches back to reveal him standing over the exhibit, so the mystery remains intact. Did he really get a gold medal? Where is it? Keep your eye on ... well, you know.

And as the museum director waves all the kids goodbye, what's that around his neck?

Now go back and reread the thing, looking again at the director early on. And scout for other clues -- every new reading will yield ones you missed, but they're often in the how and not the what.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Barbara Lehman [The Red Book] works her magic again in this offering. The lines between reality and imagination are blurred as a boy who is on a museum field trip finds himself lost. He comes upon a series of labyrinth drawings and shrinks and enters the mazes, before finally entering the real world again. Any kid who loves adventure [and which kid doesn't] will love this story. The illustrations too are wonderful and engaging.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Isobel Dash on October 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A friend introduced me to Museum Trip and it's now my go-to-gift-book for children of all ages. The wordless adventure is accessible to kids young and old and the surprise ending sends them all back to the beginning again. Barbara Lehman's eye for detail astounds and delights: each page can be enjoyed over and over again. I can't wait to see what she does next!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By gaffy on August 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The perfect book for my maze-crazed 7 year old who hates to read. High quality product. Would recommend a version with reading be created, I think the rest is so enjoyable, the kids would be inspired to try and read it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ulyyf on January 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a wordless book about a boy who gets lost in a museum... but finds his way through several mazes in a book. The real question to ask is "Did this really happen?" I, as the grown-up who sees the medal the boy won for solving the mazes (and the one worn by the museum curator) say yes, weirdly, it did. My five year old niece, who can be very literal sometimes ("People don't really go in books, Connie!") says no... but I think she'll figure it out eventually.

She was fascinated by the mazes, btw, although I thought that sequence went on for a while.
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