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Review of Masterpiece Mix

Masterpiece Mix
by Roxie Munro; illus. by the author
Primary    Holiday    32 pp.    g
8/17    978-0-8234-3699-6    $16.95
e-book ed.  978-0-8234-3912-6    $16.95

Munro is known as both a picture-book illustrator and a painter of large, detailed cityscapes. Here, the two disciplines converge. We watch as an artist walks to her studio, stretches a new canvas, and gets out her supplies. She stands in front of a huge canvas that nearly eclipses a studio window. “But what should I paint?” Now we zoom in on objects in the studio, where Munro has incorporated thirty-six photos of actual paintings and one sculpture, placing them on a mug, a wall calendar, a tote bag, a computer monitor. The artist considers still lifes, landscapes, and portraits, as well as a variety of subjects such as sports, animals, and the arts. Her decision? She paints the view out her window and imagines the artwork found in her studio decorating the neighborhood. A Whistler figure study of a woman in white is seen on the wall of a bridal shop; a George Bellows painting of boxers decorates Al’s Gym. Like so many of Munro’s books, this one is hard to categorize. In the end, it’s a book about art and artists, and also a puzzle book. Sharp-eyed viewers will be rewarded with answers, though it might take a while to find references to all thirty-seven images in the final spread. Luckily, the back matter includes a key, as well as notes on each work of art (the artists are predominantly white and male, plus one African American man and two white women).

From the September/October 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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Lolly Robinson About Lolly Robinson

Lolly Robinson is the creative director for The Horn Book, Inc. She has degrees in studio art and children's literature and teaches children's literature at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education. She has served on the Caldecott and Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committees and blogs for Calling Caldecott and Lolly's Classroom on this site.

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