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Author: Jan Wahl

Illustrator: Rosalinde Bonnet

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Charlesbridge, ©2011

Material: hard cover

Summary: This is the story of how a little boy became an art collector. When he was young, he realized he wasn't a very good drawer, but he loved other people's pictures - including his great grandmother's. Slowly he began to buy inexpensive pictures and as he grew so did his collection. Eventually he had so many fine art pieces that he established a museum. This is a picture book that is part fictional story, part celebration of art.

Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 10; read yourself: 7 and up

Interest Level: 6 to 9

Reading Level: 2.7

Age of Child: This book was shared with a group of second graders (5-8).

Young Reader Reaction: My teacher friend read this with her second-grade class and then they discussed art and the stories that painting can tell. She said they liked the book and it was perfect for launching a discussion on enjoying art.

Adult Reader Reaction: I liked this book and the fact that it stresses that even if you are not good at art you can still appreciate and enjoy art work.

Pros: This picture book has a great message for kids about appreciating others' talents. It is a very good selection for the school or classroom library, homeschooling families, or just to enjoy together.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. There are lots of ways to use the book.

If You Liked This Book, Try: NINE FAMOUS ARTISTS YOUR CHILDREN WILL LOVE; An Art Discovery Primer and Handbook for Parents and Their Children   FREDERICK   KITTY FANTASTIC IN MONROE'S ART ADVENTURE

Educational Themes: Although the obvious theme is art appreciation, the young boy's relationship with his grandmother is worth exploring, as is recognizing and accepting other people's talents ... and alternate ways to follow your passion. This could also be a good primer for young children on what they could see at a museum.

Notes: Bob Walch, Monterey, California, sent us this review. Bob's reviews appear in the Salinas Californian, Watsonville Register-Pajaronian, Aptos Times, Ride/Western Times and Coast Views Magazine. His online reviews can be found at MyShelf, Roundtable Reviews, Parent Click, Midwest Book Review, and I Love a Mystery.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, art,

Date(s) Reviewed: October 2011

Other Reviews: See Critics Reviews at; and reviews and reader feedback at


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