Review of The Museum of Everything

The Museum of Everything
by Lynne Rae Perkins; illus. by the author
Primary    Greenwillow    40 pp.    g
5/21    978-0-06-298630-6    $17.99

In this big, noisy world, a museum, even if it’s only in one’s imagination, is a place of quiet contemplation. With this absorbing and original picture book, Perkins offers a special sanctuary for curious and creative dreamers, a space to think about, explore, and possibly curate a few collections of their own. No exhibit or artifact is too small or ephemeral to be included. The unnamed child narrator considers establishing a Museum of Hiding Places; a museum made up exclusively of shadows; and, of course, a Sky Museum, which is open all the time, with exhibits that change daily. The child envisions a Museum of Bushes, complete with an interactive exhibit — a roomful of “bushskirts” for visitors to try on and twirl in. Other intriguing installations include a model of “an island in a pond on an island in a pond on an island in a pond on an island in a pond” and a Museum of Little Things (a.k.a. a windowsill), with found treasures to look at one at a time, or all together. The book features Perkins’s vibrantly colored (and beautifully displayed) 3-D art, shadow boxes, dioramas, and miniature displays, complete with curtained backdrops and prosceniums. Many of the pages include photographic elements and realistic detail, with dashes of whimsy and creative flair to match the child’s inventive musings. A perfect lead-in to a museum visit or a STEAM-based contemplation titled the “Museum of Things I Wonder About.”

From the July/August 2021 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Luann Toth
Luann Toth

Luann Toth is a former reviews editor at School Library Journal. She holds an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh.

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