July 27, 2009 at 1:41 pm Leave a comment

matiseeAdd this title to other juvenile books concerned with missing works of art, like Baliett’s Chasing Vermeer and Broach’s Masterpiece. This one has an interesting, albeit incredible twist, because Matisse Jones, a talented eleven-year-old boy, dupes all the art experts by replacing an original Henri Matisse portrait of his son Pierre with his own reproduction. Jones knows he is in deep trouble and tries different ploys to return the original to the museum. There is even an appearance of Pierre Matisse, the subject of the painting, who teaches Jones to know what is real in art. Jones is not the only creative one in his family. His father invents oversized barbecue grills that can cook 130 pound porkers and even a wild boar. His older sister Frida dresses exclusively in purple and sews her own unusual outfits. Jones is deeply embarrassed by his offbeat family because the other kids laugh at his father when he marches down the road pushing his barbecue contraption. There are funny moments as when Matisse is forced to help drive the barbecue and it gets away from him. Bragg mixes slap stick, family relationships, and the meaning of art in this quick-paced novel.

J-Fiction  Recommended- Lillian Hecker (Pelham)


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THE KIND OF FRIENDS WE USED TO BE by Frances O’Roark Dowell (Atheneum, 2009) ONE TWO, BUCKLE MY SHOE by Jane Cabrera (Holiday House)

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