With 7 grandchildren, I'm always on the look out for suitable reading matter for them. Today I found a really nice book for the age group 5 to 9yrs. Dogs' Night by Meredith Hooper, fits all the requirements.
The story is set in an art museum : One night of the year, all the dogs in the paintings, jump down and have a high old time, running riot in the museum, when the staff and the public have left. This time things were just a little different! The museum hosted an art lovers function and the dogs had to wait until it was over, before they could escape their paintings and have a good time doing the things dogs do. The humans hadn't cleared away the left overs, so the dogs ate, and drank *fizzy drinks*. When it was time for them to go back into their pictures, 4 of them ended up in the wrong ones! The dog from Jan van Eyck's Painting *The Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife, Giovnna Cenami* a cute hairy little beast, ends up in Gainsborough's *Mr & Mrs.Andrews. Their dog, a brown hunting dog with a white muzzle, goes to visit *Madame de Pompadour* by Francois-Hubert Drouais. Her cute little black dog with a wavy tail, finds itself down by the river in *Bathers at Asnieres* by Georges-Pierre Seurat! So...that leaves the red dog with the floppy ears from the Bathers, in the bedroom of the Arnolfini family!
Their mistake is discovered first by a little girl and then by the public. At first the Gallery staff think there is a theft, but realize that the paintings are the originals, with some very odd changes made. The media and the general public flock to the Gallery and it becomes the most popular one in the world.
A year later...it's Dogs' Night again. All the dogs in the Gallery paintings leave their pictures and run around madly doing dog things, but this time there is no *fizzy drink* to muddle them up. When it's time to climb back into the pictures, they all manage to end up in their original paintings. No one knows how it's happened...except the Dogs!
I thoroughly recommend this little book. The story is clever and well told in easy language. The illustrations are enchanting.Reproductions of the original art work have been used with permission from the National Gallery in London. It's a nice way to get kids interested in Art, even if it is looking to find the *dog* in the picture.
I'd give it a 5! Oh...and my *soon to be 5* granddaughter will have it under the tree waiting for her Christmas morning!
Vickie Bowman..Callahan's Saloon at Delphi.com.