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Grandma in Blue with Red Hat



by
Scott Menchin
illustrated by
Harry Bliss

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Abrams
Imprint
Abrams
ISBN
9781419714849

Awards and Honors
2016 CCBC Choices– Picture Books forSchool-Age Children
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$12.00   $5.00
SEE MEMBER PRICE
QTY
Out of stock

JLG Category

Easy Reading Plus

After a boy learns some of the reasons a work of art might be in a museum—it’s beautiful, different, makes people feel good—he asks the museum to exhibit a new piece: his grandma! Full-color illustrations were done in pen and ink then colored with watercolor.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

32

Trim Size

9" x 9"

Dewey

E

AR

2.2: points 0.5

Lexile

AD510L

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Jul 2015

Book Genres


Topics

Art. Museums. Grandmothers. Art appreciation. Art exhibits.

Standard MARC Records

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist, The Horn Book Magazine, The Horn Book Guide^, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Saturday is the best day. Because that’s the day I go to art class at the museum,” explains an African American boy. He and his classmates discuss famous art pieces and discuss why each one is worthy to be included in the museum—because it’s beautiful/funny/one-of-a-kind/makes viewers feel good. The boy realizes that his beloved grandmother fulfills all of the requirements for a museum exhibit and decides to donate her to the collection. The curator treats his idea with respect but explains that the museum does not accept grandmas. Undaunted, the boy goes into a frenzy of art study and creation in order to hold his own exhibit. Each piece features his grandmother and is an homage to a different artist or movement. At the end, in front of the titular piece, Grandma in Blue with a Hat, his grandma tells him that the exhibit is wonderful and one-of-a-kind. “Just like Grandma,” he adds proudly. The illustrations are full of clever nods and references to famous art and skillfully done; however, none of the struggle or reality of creating art is shown, and the boy seems to create and host a museum-quality show complete with exhibit guides. It’s not clear whether he is incredibly talented or if the exhibit is pictured as he imagines it. Art quibbles aside, the story is well written and serves as a great introduction to art appreciation. VERDICT The subject matter, along with a tender grandparent relationship, makes this a worthwhile purchase for large collections.—Anna Haase Krueger, Ramsey County Library, MN

Horn Book

In this gentle rumination on the nature of art and family affection, young visitors to an art museum suggest seven reasons why an object might be acquired by the institution. Our hero realizes that all seven criteria (“It’s beautiful,” “It’s different,” “It tells a story,” “It came from somewhere far away,” etc.) apply to his grandmother, so he decides to donate her to the museum. When his donation is declined by the curator, the budding artist defaults to the backup plan of depicting his grandmother in a wide variety of styles and media and staging his own one-man art show. In two joyous double-page spreads we see visitors at the opening, reacting to portraits of Grandma in sculpture, prints, and paintings, reflecting a wide range of influences, from Van Gogh to Modigliani to modern comics. Menchin’s uncomplicated text is matched by cartoonist Bliss’s openhearted watercolors. Young art history students will enjoy embedded Picasso and Duchamp references. Grandmas, particularly those who belong to the Red Hat Society, will be pleased to be honored as “one of a kind.” sarah ellis

The Horn Book Guide Review:
Young museum visitors suggest reasons why the institution might acquire an object. Realizing the criteria (“It’s beautiful, (” (“It’s different, (” etc.) apply to his grandmother, our hero decides to donate her. When his donation is declined, he depicts Grandma in various styles and media (with influences from Van Gogh to modern comics) and stages a one-man art show. Open-hearted watercolors match the uncomplicated text.

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Saturday is the best day. Because that’s the day I go to art class at the museum,” explains an African American boy. He and his classmates discuss famous art pieces and discuss why each one is worthy to be included in the museum—because it’s beautiful/funny/one-of-a-kind/makes viewers feel good. The boy realizes that his beloved grandmother fulfills all of the requirements for a museum exhibit and decides to donate her to the collection. The curator treats his idea with respect but explains that the museum does not accept grandmas. Undaunted, the boy goes into a frenzy of art study and creation in order to hold his own exhibit. Each piece features his grandmother and is an homage to a different artist or movement. At the end, in front of the titular piece, Grandma in Blue with a Hat, his grandma tells him that the exhibit is wonderful and one-of-a-kind. “Just like Grandma,” he adds proudly. The illustrations are full of clever nods and references to famous art and skillfully done; however, none of the struggle or reality of creating art is shown, and the boy seems to create and host a museum-quality show complete with exhibit guides. It’s not clear whether he is incredibly talented or if the exhibit is pictured as he imagines it. Art quibbles aside, the story is well written and serves as a great introduction to art appreciation. VERDICT The subject matter, along with a tender grandparent relationship, makes this a worthwhile purchase for large collections.—Anna Haase Krueger, Ramsey County Library, MN

Horn Book

In this gentle rumination on the nature of art and family affection, young visitors to an art museum suggest seven reasons why an object might be acquired by the institution. Our hero realizes that all seven criteria (“It’s beautiful,” “It’s different,” “It tells a story,” “It came from somewhere far away,” etc.) apply to his grandmother, so he decides to donate her to the museum. When his donation is declined by the curator, the budding artist defaults to the backup plan of depicting his grandmother in a wide variety of styles and media and staging his own one-man art show. In two joyous double-page spreads we see visitors at the opening, reacting to portraits of Grandma in sculpture, prints, and paintings, reflecting a wide range of influences, from Van Gogh to Modigliani to modern comics. Menchin’s uncomplicated text is matched by cartoonist Bliss’s openhearted watercolors. Young art history students will enjoy embedded Picasso and Duchamp references. Grandmas, particularly those who belong to the Red Hat Society, will be pleased to be honored as “one of a kind.” sarah ellis

The Horn Book Guide Review:
Young museum visitors suggest reasons why the institution might acquire an object. Realizing the criteria (“It’s beautiful, (” (“It’s different, (” etc.) apply to his grandmother, our hero decides to donate her. When his donation is declined, he depicts Grandma in various styles and media (with influences from Van Gogh to modern comics) and stages a one-man art show. Open-hearted watercolors match the uncomplicated text.

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