Here are two picture books kindly sent for review by Tate Publishing:
The Museum of Me
‘Everyone says I’m going to love the museums,’ so says the little girl narrator in this delightfully quirky book as we accompany her on a journey wherein she travels by bus, to a variety of museums, showing us what they are, and what each has to offer.
Therein she finds all manner of objects that fascinate her such as ancient toys very similar to her own, pottery,
strange birds and giant bugs, contemporary artworks and lots more besides.
Then there are museums outdoors too, sometimes in gardens,
and our narrator even contemplates the possibilities of a museum in space.
Finally, she takes us to see The Museum of Me – her very own collection of favourite things.
Now that’s a fantastic starting point, once you’ve shared with youngsters this smashing look at the delights that museums have to offer. I love the distinctive, collage style illustrations that imbue the entire book with a sense of the importance of individual responses to museums, indeed to the whole of life.
Why not suggest children create and curate their own personal museums featuring items from their lives and experiences? Such an activity offers both a personal response and a demonstration of the way in which museums the world over have often been created out of the lives and experiences of ordinary as well as extraordinary people. For now I’m going to start thinking of items for my museum of me, restricting it to (desert island discs style) ten.
Like A Giant
Marc Daniau and Yvan Duque
Take a giant – just awoken, a city child – ready and waiting, and a journey; those are the key elements of this picture book that is a wonderful celebration of the power of childhood imagination. Said journey takes the adventurers across the ocean, then moving at high speed beside a railway track, on up towards a wonderful mountainous region abundantly green where it’s time to slow down, stop and relish the serenity of the scene spreading out before them.
Then comes a soaring ride through the skies – snow softly falling – to see deserts, islands, hills and valleys, lakes and more. There’s a place to sate the travellers’ hunger, wonderous verdant gardens and woodlands to enchant and delight.
They’ll travel through all kinds of weather
and through a whole day and night, but though that entire trip has lasted just a short time, it has been an unforgettable, life-enhancing experience for the hero large and the hero small.
With incredibly powerful scenes by Yvan Duque and a travelogue commentary in the imagination of a small child by Marc Daniau, this is an awe-inspiring book to share slowly and meditatively, perhaps at bedtime.