cover image Rembrandt's Beret, Or, the Painter's Crown

Rembrandt's Beret, Or, the Painter's Crown

Johnny Alcorn. Tambourine Books, $13.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-688-10206-7

An artist tells his granddaughter of the source of his inspiration: a visit to a Florentine art museum as a small boy, during which the portraits of the Old Masters came to life. The boy had his portrait painted by Rembrandt and left with it and the master's brushes, which he still has. A stilted text sprinkled with adult references and puns (``I was framed,'' complains Caravaggio) exacerbates this story's contrived, lifeless quality; nor are the book's dark, sometimes surreal oils an accessible entree to the world of art. Posy Simmonds's Lulu and the Flying Babies offers a livelier, more child-oriented fantasy in a similar setting, and is more apt to convince young readers that art can ``speak'' to them. Ages 6-up. (May)