You Can't Take a Balloon Into the Metropolitan Museum

by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman and Robin Preiss Glasser

A little girl with a yellow balloon goes with her grandmother to the museum for the... read more

A little girl with a yellow balloon goes with her grandmother to the museum for the afternoon. The balloon has to be left with a guard at the museum entrance. The balloon blows away while the two are inside viewing many exhibits, glimpses of which are shown to readers. The yellow sphere travels across Manhattan through Central Park, in and out of the Plaza Hotel, and to a Lincoln Center stage where the opera Aida is being performed. Hundreds of people of all ages and walks of life can be seen throughout these wordless scenarios. They look disarmingly like people in Manhattan on an ordinary afternoon. The guard chases the balloon. In a madcap dash an ever-growing line of balloon rescuers returns to the museum just as the child and her grandmother appear. The book's inside joke for observant children is the images on the paintings, sculptures, pottery, and period clothing seen on display by our grandma and granddaughter in the museum are similar to what can be seen on the streets of New York City. It's fun to discover the parallels, and it's also fun for older readers to identify the actual works of art to which some of the illustrations make reference. A list of the latter is at the end of this delightful 11 1/4" square, wordless book, which will serve in years to come as a chronicle of the late 1990s in the Big Apple. (Ages 3-8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1998

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