cover image The Museum of Everything

The Museum of Everything

Lynne Rae Perkins. Greenwillow, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-298630-6

“When the world gets too big and too loud and too busy,” the narrating child says, “I like to look at little bits of it, one at a time.” Considering objects one by one and putting them “in a quiet place” is also what museums do, a resemblance that the child notices: “Maybe it would be called The Museum of Things I Wonder About. Because I have a lot of those.” In three-dimensional illustrations that resemble the low-tech, at-home diorama-style museum a child might make—photographed rooms constructed of cut paper with props assembled from all kinds of materials—Perkins (Wintercake) molds islands big and small, a roomful of skirts that look like bushes in blossom (“Everyone can try them on, and twirl”), a collection of shadows, and more. Ideas are developed with particular richness: after cataloging common shadows, the child considers other kinds, as when a sun-warm leaf leaves a leaf-size space in the snow: “a shadow of melting.” After this excursion through their own thoughts, the white child feels ready to return to the noisy world. Distinctive and heartfelt, the museum is observed with a poet’s eye and an inventor’s spirit. Ages 4–8. [em](May) [/em]