Gracie's Gallery: A Magic Mirror Book

Kelly Houle, Author . Dalmatian/Piggy Toes $14.95 (16p) ISBN 978-1-58117-784-8

Gracie, the four-year-old scribbler who, “like many artists... is misunderstood,” gets her big break when George—her older brother and “curator” of her gallery—realizes that Gracie has been looking into the shiny salt shaker she places on the edge of her paper as she draws. Readers can replicate George's discovery: as they pull the tab, a Mylar “magic mirror” curves, and Gracie's “scribbles” transform into coherent compositions. As Gracie's drawings materialize in the “mirror,” George provides commentary, injecting what can only be hoped is irony. For a self-portrait, George identifies the media (crayon, yarn, construction paper) before referencing Rembrandt in the “choice of subject.” Gracie's subjects and use of media (feathers, leaves, postage stamps) become more complicated with the book's progression, and George's comments might give budding artists some ideas. However, while readers should initially enjoy the visual gambit at the heart of the book, they should not expect a story. A Web site, www.graciesgallery.com , includes directions for drawing “like Gracie.” Ages 3–9. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 10/13/2008
Release date: 10/01/2008
Genre: Children's
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