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Seeking Cézanne: a Children’s Mystery Inspired by Paul Cézanne and Other Artists

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When Jamie and her brother Billy are trapped inside a painting, they want nothing more than to get back to the real museum. But every time they try going back, the museum disappears. They need to find Paul Cézanne to reveal the trick to getting home--and that's not easy. To find him, they need to learn how to experience and appreciate artistic works. Step into a world of ar When Jamie and her brother Billy are trapped inside a painting, they want nothing more than to get back to the real museum. But every time they try going back, the museum disappears. They need to find Paul Cézanne to reveal the trick to getting home--and that's not easy. To find him, they need to learn how to experience and appreciate artistic works. Step into a world of art and adventure with Jamie and Billy as they navigate among several styles of painting by artists from six countries. In the form of a mystery, the two children learn to recognize the work of Paul Cézanne as compared to Claude Monet, Isaac Levitan, and others. The book is exciting on its own and can also support a student’s understanding of the National Core Arts Standards. Grades 2 to 4.


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When Jamie and her brother Billy are trapped inside a painting, they want nothing more than to get back to the real museum. But every time they try going back, the museum disappears. They need to find Paul Cézanne to reveal the trick to getting home--and that's not easy. To find him, they need to learn how to experience and appreciate artistic works. Step into a world of ar When Jamie and her brother Billy are trapped inside a painting, they want nothing more than to get back to the real museum. But every time they try going back, the museum disappears. They need to find Paul Cézanne to reveal the trick to getting home--and that's not easy. To find him, they need to learn how to experience and appreciate artistic works. Step into a world of art and adventure with Jamie and Billy as they navigate among several styles of painting by artists from six countries. In the form of a mystery, the two children learn to recognize the work of Paul Cézanne as compared to Claude Monet, Isaac Levitan, and others. The book is exciting on its own and can also support a student’s understanding of the National Core Arts Standards. Grades 2 to 4.

37 review for Seeking Cézanne: a Children’s Mystery Inspired by Paul Cézanne and Other Artists

  1. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    What a charming book! Targeted for children aged seven and up; bursting with reproductions of classic art, captured with color and energy breathing life onto every page - this visually spectacular and lovely little book teaches children about the artist Cézanne, helping set the stage for a life-long appreciation of his style, the moods he worked to capture, and the mysteries to be felt when you learn to let go and simply “step inside” a piece of art to let it speak to you. As the narrator Jamie, What a charming book! Targeted for children aged seven and up; bursting with reproductions of classic art, captured with color and energy breathing life onto every page - this visually spectacular and lovely little book teaches children about the artist Cézanne, helping set the stage for a life-long appreciation of his style, the moods he worked to capture, and the mysteries to be felt when you learn to let go and simply “step inside” a piece of art to let it speak to you. As the narrator Jamie, and her little brother, Billy, visit a museum with their grandmother, they unexpectedly find themselves inside a strange new world, which they have somehow entered through a self-portrait of Cézanne, with no discernible path-way back to Grandma or the museum they came from. It’s only through their stumble-forward journey, requiring closer inspection of the painted world around them as they advance (and aided by snippets of guidance provided by the illustrated characters living within the classic works of art they find themselves immersed in), that the children come to understand art as a conversation with the artist, allowing them a greater appreciation for “Art” itself, the works of many grand masters, and a deeper identification and understanding of the marvelous work of the artist Cézanne. A wonderful treat for art lovers everywhere, and in particular those wishing to help impart a similar spark in the children they share their worlds with - this book, its clever plotting, and the delightful lessons it seamlessly introduces - is not to be missed. I’m looking forward to reading more in what I understand to be a series of similar artist-appreciation works from this wonderful author. A great big thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kaye

    As a lover of art I've often thought about stepping into a painting. Ted Malcaluso delivers a story of Jamie and his brother Billy who do just that while on a trip to a museum with their grandmother. They have to wander through several paintings looking for the artist to find a way out. This is a clever way to teach art appreciation to younger readers. The boys learn to look at the painting, for shapes, the mood it creates, brushstroke differences and use of colors all while searching for an esc As a lover of art I've often thought about stepping into a painting. Ted Malcaluso delivers a story of Jamie and his brother Billy who do just that while on a trip to a museum with their grandmother. They have to wander through several paintings looking for the artist to find a way out. This is a clever way to teach art appreciation to younger readers. The boys learn to look at the painting, for shapes, the mood it creates, brushstroke differences and use of colors all while searching for an escape. This book focuses on Cezanne showing ten of his paintings and a sketch but also other paintings and artists. The guide to the paintings at the back of the book gives titles and time periods for most of the works. Most include a museum listing for the work or noting if in a private collection, but oddly a few did not. The book is geared to elementary aged readers but for younger grades it would be need to be read by an adult or teacher. Thank you to NetGalley and Canoe Tree Press for a temporary eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Olson

    This was such a sweet, well written, heartwarming, and educational children’s book! Quick Synopsis: Siblings Jamie and Billy go to an art museum with their grandmother. When they are become trapped within one of the paintings, they need to find their way out by using Cezanne’s art style to find their way home. Along their journey they learn about not only Paul Cezanne’s stylistic attributes, but also about other artists. Will they find their way out? I’m always a fan of a book that can teach me s This was such a sweet, well written, heartwarming, and educational children’s book! Quick Synopsis: Siblings Jamie and Billy go to an art museum with their grandmother. When they are become trapped within one of the paintings, they need to find their way out by using Cezanne’s art style to find their way home. Along their journey they learn about not only Paul Cezanne’s stylistic attributes, but also about other artists. Will they find their way out? I’m always a fan of a book that can teach me something and even though this was a children’s book, Fauvism was a new type of art I did not know prior to reading this book. The colors, geometric shapes and overall look of the art was very distinct! At the end of the story there was information about each piece of art that appeared in the book, who the artist was and where in the world one could find it. This added even more depth to the book and made it more educational. The way Ted Macaluso writes about the importance of artwork invoking feeling from the viewer was really powerful. As a teacher, I can see this book being used as a learning tool that’s not only educational but also enjoyable! I’m looking forward to seeing what Ted Macaluso comes up with next!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Seeking Cezanne follows brothers Jamie and Billy on a trip to the museum with their grandmother where they find themselves trapped in a painting and must find Cezanne so he can help them leave. Along their journey they encounter different Cezanne pairings and a few from other artist. With Cezanne's help they are able to return to their grandmother with a better appreciation for art. The book is cute and I really like that images of actual paintings were used as illustrations rather than an artis Seeking Cezanne follows brothers Jamie and Billy on a trip to the museum with their grandmother where they find themselves trapped in a painting and must find Cezanne so he can help them leave. Along their journey they encounter different Cezanne pairings and a few from other artist. With Cezanne's help they are able to return to their grandmother with a better appreciation for art. The book is cute and I really like that images of actual paintings were used as illustrations rather than an artist's interpretation of the partings. Some of the pages have a lot of words on them, so while the vocabulary is simple, younger children may need someone to read it to them. I appreciated that there was information about all the featured works in the back of the book. Thank you to NetGalley and Canoe Tree Press for the ARC.

  5. 5 out of 5

    MookNana

    This is an interesting and ambitious concept for teaching art history. The unique approach may capture the interest of otherwise reluctant readers. I loved the generous amount pictures included--26 in total (16 Cezanne and 10 other artists). They are vividly rendered and captivating! Where I was a bit unsure was the target age range for this story. On the one hand, some of the story (a trip to the art museum with Grandma) skews a bit younger, but the amount of text and the vocabulary used are mo This is an interesting and ambitious concept for teaching art history. The unique approach may capture the interest of otherwise reluctant readers. I loved the generous amount pictures included--26 in total (16 Cezanne and 10 other artists). They are vividly rendered and captivating! Where I was a bit unsure was the target age range for this story. On the one hand, some of the story (a trip to the art museum with Grandma) skews a bit younger, but the amount of text and the vocabulary used are more appropriate for middle school (or possibly very strong 5th grade readers). That said, the language was sophisticated and expressive and I would be thrilled with a student picking this up, even if a bit of support was needed. Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Susan Underbrink

    A big thank you to NetGalley and Canoe Tree Press for the ARC. I am voluntarily reviewing this book. This is classified as a children's book, but I think adults may enjoy it as well. I enjoyed the unique way it incorporated the art into the story. It is a unique way to learn about art. It's a bit of adventure and mystery. I believe that this is the first in a series. This may open up an avenue for a group of students who have no access to museums. 4 stars. Truly enjoyable. A big thank you to NetGalley and Canoe Tree Press for the ARC. I am voluntarily reviewing this book. This is classified as a children's book, but I think adults may enjoy it as well. I enjoyed the unique way it incorporated the art into the story. It is a unique way to learn about art. It's a bit of adventure and mystery. I believe that this is the first in a series. This may open up an avenue for a group of students who have no access to museums. 4 stars. Truly enjoyable.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Theediscerning

    Hmmm... Well-meaning, but slightly clunky, this book has our young female narrator, Jamie, and her kid brother, both taken to a large art gallery by their grandma, who promptly gubbers off, leaving them to step into a painting. They're now on the shores of a lake in a lovely landscape by Albert Bierstadt, but cannot find a way home – every way they turn they find themselves looking at a different canvas. Through meeting people from other paintings they get told they must follow a trail of Cezann Hmmm... Well-meaning, but slightly clunky, this book has our young female narrator, Jamie, and her kid brother, both taken to a large art gallery by their grandma, who promptly gubbers off, leaving them to step into a painting. They're now on the shores of a lake in a lovely landscape by Albert Bierstadt, but cannot find a way home – every way they turn they find themselves looking at a different canvas. Through meeting people from other paintings they get told they must follow a trail of Cezanne works and find the man himself for the way back. So they – and we – get a lesson in what Cezannes look like, and art appreciation, and have a peculiar fantasy adventure layered on top. To me the mix of both halves in this edutainment was quite an ungainly one at times, with the kids wholly unrealistic when they discover art is supposed to make you feel, and the contrivance of the way-back adventure not helped by a cheesy, obvious kind of resolution. So while I think there is an admirable intent here, that was not quite matched by the story or its telling. That said, the journey the kids take through multiple images, the way the canvases follow each other to form a magical, ever-changing world yet knit together to create a logical path through the scenery of the book, is well-sustained.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alix | The Bookish Alix

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 Look at me branching out on my reading habits. Okay...not really. But hey it's a children's picture book and not anywhere near the hardcore murders and psychological thrillers I usually read. That being said-it was the name and the promise of Cézanne's artwork that caught my eye. I took an art history class this past summer and Paul Cézanne's pieces were some of my favorites. For me, the pictures made the book! Most of the artwork is a double page spread so you really feel immersed when you ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 Look at me branching out on my reading habits. Okay...not really. But hey it's a children's picture book and not anywhere near the hardcore murders and psychological thrillers I usually read. That being said-it was the name and the promise of Cézanne's artwork that caught my eye. I took an art history class this past summer and Paul Cézanne's pieces were some of my favorites. For me, the pictures made the book! Most of the artwork is a double page spread so you really feel immersed when you're reading. Over the holidays, one of our friend's kid wanted to be entertained so I gave her this book (okay she wanted my phone but I had like 10% battery left so after a fight she took the book) and she wanted more like it! I might've created a monster... The mystery reminded me of The Kingdom Keepers, Night at the Museum and the talking portraits at Hogwarts.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    Seeking Cézanne takes readers on a whimsical surreal adventure through the eyes of a child narrator. Dive into famous artworks and open up your imagination to the detailed descriptions of the settings and names of new artists, their styles, and their works. A great read for children before heading to an art museum to help them better appreciate new artworks. A guide at the end of the text lists all the artworks and artists as well as where they are located. A beautiful book with lots of potentia Seeking Cézanne takes readers on a whimsical surreal adventure through the eyes of a child narrator. Dive into famous artworks and open up your imagination to the detailed descriptions of the settings and names of new artists, their styles, and their works. A great read for children before heading to an art museum to help them better appreciate new artworks. A guide at the end of the text lists all the artworks and artists as well as where they are located. A beautiful book with lots of potential both at home for personal use and in a library collection.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    A mini-adventure in art appreciation and taking notice. Two children step into a painting and need to seek a way out.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Callitia

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nika Martinez

  13. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Pole

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mary Ann

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amber

  16. 4 out of 5

    *Tau*

  17. 4 out of 5

    Macoffkilter

  18. 5 out of 5

    Adina

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bailey S.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nessa

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Wallace

  24. 4 out of 5

    Agnieszka Bartoszak

  25. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Maki

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kye Cantey

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jen Schlott

  30. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ahmed

  31. 5 out of 5

    Jill

  32. 5 out of 5

    Amie's Book Reviews

  33. 4 out of 5

    Connie Wilson

  34. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Phung

  35. 4 out of 5

    Ken

  36. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

  37. 5 out of 5

    Gail Barasch

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