Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Book 149: Mystery Mansion

Mystery Mansion, by Michael Garland, Dutton Children's Book, 2001.  Preschool to Elementary.

Mystery Mansion is a spectacularly beautiful seek-and-find book.  The clues are given to "Tommy" and to the readers by notes in rhyme from Tommy's aunt.  I do have to confess that I changed Tommy's name to "Thomas" and his aunt's name to "Luna".  This made perfect sense to my four-year-old Thomas because he says that his Aunt Luna lives on a shooting star.  The story around Mystery Mansion is very sweet and the pay-off is worth the build-up, but I bought this book for the artwork.

Michael Garland is an artist with a staggering range.  Many of his styles are represented in this book.  The two-page spread of the garden scene alone is well worth tracking down this book.  In fact, that is exactly why I did track down this book.  I thought that the garden scene would be my favorite, but as soon as I spotted a dragon in the wall-paper I had a new favorite scene.  I'm a grown woman, and I just spent half-an-hour poring over the artwork in this book.  Imagine how long it could keep a child entertained.

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