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Art, shadows and soulful apes

The Museum

By Susan Verde, art by Peter H. Reynolds,
Abrams, $16.95, Ages 3 & up

The Museum features a lively little girl’s visit to a local museum that happens to have many of the world’s most recognizable paintings and sculptures in one place. Peter H. Reynolds’s drawings make recognizable the famous art with only a few squiggly lines, while Susan Verde’s verse provides the young girl’s enthusiasm and refreshingly emotional responses to the art.

“I’m starting to feel so sad and blue,” she reacts to a Picasso-looking quizzical face, which shows the works’ capacity to evoke emotional responses, if not high-brow criticism.

The Game of Shadows

By Herve Tullet
Phaidon,. $12.95, Ages 3 & up

Herve Tullet’s series of cardboard cutout books now includes The Game of Shadows on snazzy shiny black cardboard that is like walking through a forest of hard-to-see objects. Each page has unique cutouts with a short description that tells you what they are. The images can be used to trace their outlines for the reader’s own art projects. The author recommends reading it in the dark with a flashlight, which makes shadows that are even more intriguing and fun to decipher.

One Gorilla: A Counting Book

By Anthony Browne
Candlewick,  $16.99, Ages 3 & up

It is certainly no insult to be descended from the primates that Anthony Browne has drawn in many books and now in this sumptuous counting book, One Gorilla. Their faces are expressive, their color is deep and varied, their eyes are sympathetic and human. (Almost, I guess.) 

There is a bonus drawing of the artist himself, who shares all of the endearing traits of the primates, including a knowing but inquisitive look, rich colors and warm human countenance. Browne has a fantastic talent for drawing lifelike faces that are appealing and revealing.

Frank Lipsius is a contributing writer to MetroKids.

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