on 17 September 1999
I must confess that this book had a rather unfortunate impact upon my young life, when I read it at the age of nine. For years afterwards I fantazised about running away from home and living in the Metropolitan Museum of Art like the book's heroine Claudia, and her little brother Jamie. Several times, in replication of their actions, I would fill my music case full of clean underwear and my school napsack full of my life savings, just in case I got the nerve to abscond to New York City and set up housekeeping amongst the plush, perfectly-preserved beds of 18th-century gentry. I never did, but the book still gave me a wonderful role model in the persona of the practical, intellectual, tidy, yet fiercely romantic Claudia that has lasted throughout my life. It also inspired a deep affection for Michelangelo's art, as the book's plot (besides the adventures of the young runaways) centers on the children's obsession with determining whether one the museum's recent acquisitions is an authentic work of the Master's. I remember so many wonderful, physical details of this book--the two siblings bathing in the fountain of the museum and collecting the change to feed themselves at the automat, Claudia posing and prodding her younger brother to say that she resembles the statue in question (of course, he maddeningly and purposefully refuses to understand her), and of course the mysterious instrument cases of dirty underwear found by the museum staff once the children have left. They go home to their parents, but without regretting what they have done, and all ends happily. The book is both absurd, amoral, and wonderfully rich in memorable physical detail, as is all great children's literature
on 28 December 1999
Another one of those books I have looked for in memory of my childhood and which only Amazon has been able to dig up for me! My friend recommended this book to me way back in about 1975 or 6 and it put wings on my imagination, too, just like the last review here. We were a long way from the Met in Geneva, Switzerland, but I loved going round the museums there on my own, imagining I was about to embark on a similar adventure - but somehow never had the nerve! Also no younger sibling to use as support! Am definitely ordering for my own children (the middle one is nine...) and to have a copy of my own in the bookcase!!
on 31 May 2009
There are three books which i remember from my childhood. after recently rediscovering and reading one of them (Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time) i struggled but just could not remember the names of the other two, one about a couple of children who run away from home and live in a museum. then today i logged into Amazon and this book came up as a recommendation! How weird is that?! I remember these three books because they all had a powerful impact on me when i read them way back in the 1970's. i loved the heroine of this story and wished i could be as brave as her. i still fantasise about running away and hiding out in a museum! (but of course now instead of running away from my parents, i would be running away from my children!). Now, can anyone remember the name of a book about some children who get caught out in a blizzard and have to live on their own for days in an old abandoned farmhouse? Ta!