Thursday, March 13, 2008

Museum Trip

Museum Trip, by Barbara Lehman, is a wordless book with a great deal of mystery and a surprise ending. No small feat, eh?

A school group is visiting the museum. While tying his shoe, one boy is separated from the group. Wondering through the museum's halls, he comes upon a closed door. Through the door he finds a small room with a display case containing six small mazes. After a look of surprise comes across his face, he finds he is in the display, standing at the edge of the first maze.

He finds the center of that maze, and the next, and the next, until he reaches a stout tower at the end of the last maze. Inside a medal is placed around his neck by a figure off the page. Returning to normal size, he once again finds his class. Leaving the museum, we see that the boy is perhaps not the only person to have made the discovery.

Remember, all of this is told without words. The characters are drawn in a Sunday comics style, so the facial features are done simply. But with that Lehman creates some subtly distinct expressions. She also uses white space very well. In fact, the cover of the book is mostly white.

Museum Trip would be a nice book for young grade-schoolers to explore and use their imaginations. Or for a parent and smaller child to explore together. Which brings up our...

Early Literacy Tip of the Day

Have your child point out pictures in a newspaper, book, or magazine and describe what is happening in the pictures. An old favorite book that I think is great for this type of exercise because it adds a few words to tantalize you is The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, by Chris Van Allsburg.

This is from the Minnesota Parent Center (

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