by Raul Colon (Author) Raul Colon (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

After passing a city museum many times, a boy finally decides to go in. He passes wall after wall of artwork until he sees a painting that makes him stop and ponder. Before long the painting comes to life and an afternoon of adventure and discovery unfolds, changing how he sees the world ever after.


Starred Review

The author/illustrator has combined his love of music and illustration to create a delightful, wordless tribute to the arts, with a magical touch.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review

Beautifully euphoric.

Hornbook Guide to Children

Starred Review

Figures from paintings cavort with him throughout NYC, after which the boy's new friends return to their canvases and he creates a mural of their likenesses in his Brooklyn neighborhood. Colsn's mixed-media illustrations in his signature stippled and crosshatched textures hum with energy and jubilation.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Though Colón (Draw!) grew up in New York City, he didn't visit the city's art museums until he was an adult. The powerful idea of encountering original modern masterworks as a child, his author's note says, inspired this wordless fantasy. Using the deeply saturated hues and combed textures of his signature style, the artist draws a brown-skinned boy hopping onto his skateboard, sailing across the Brooklyn Bridge, and heading into the Museum of Modern Art, checking his helmet and board at the entrance. Inside, he encounters Rousseau's The Sleeping Gypsy, Picasso's Three Musicians, and Matisse's Icarus. He's awed by the paintings--Colón draws him with his hands clasped behind his head--and is overjoyed when the figures burst from their frames. After dancing with the boy out onto the street, they tour famous New York landmarks together--fast-moving stills show the figures in improbable N.Y.C. settings with humorous believability--before returning to the museum. Back in Brooklyn, the figures remain in the boy's mind, and he creates some magnificent art of his own. Colón's vibrant scenes make it clear that visiting works of art can breathe magic into the everyday and inspire further creativity afterward. Ages 4-8. Agent: Gail Morgan, Morgan Gaynin Agency. (Sept.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Starred Review

PreS-Gr 2--A young boy skateboards across the Brooklyn Bridge to the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. There he encounters works by some of the most famous artists in the collection: Rousseau, Picasso, and Matisse. The enchanting figures leap off their canvases and join the boy on a tour of the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Times Square, and Coney Island before returning to their frames. On his way home, the newly inspired child envisions painting murals on the sides of the buildings he passes and falls asleep with his head filled with the images he's internalized. In an author's note, Colón explains that he never saw original art in museums as a child, but was overwhelmed with emotion when he encountered the paintings as an adult. His wordless picture book captures the drama of a personal artistic experience and the lasting impact it can have. The paintings he represents in his subtly textured pencil, lithograph, and watercolor illustrations are recognizable to those who know them and captivating even for those meeting them for the first time. VERDICT A compelling introduction to the power of art and an irresistible invitation to creativity, to boot. Best shared one-on-one or with a small group, with plenty of time to pore over the brilliant images within.--Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Library, NY

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Raul Colon
Raúl Colón is the award-winning illustrator of many picture books, including Draw!, an ALA Notable Book and recipient of the International Latino Book Award; Imagine!, an ALA Notable Book, a New York Public Library Best Book for Kids, and a BookPage Best Book; Susanna Reich's José! Born to Dance; Angela's Christmas by Frank McCourt; and Jill Biden's Don't Forget, God Bless Our Troops. Mr. Colón lived in Puerto Rico as a young boy and now resides in New City, New York, with his family.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
September 20, 2018
New York Times, 09/16/18

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