Mr. Owliver loves being night watchman at the Animaltown Art Museum; he’s an owl and up all night anyway, and proud to protect such beautiful works of art. Alone but never lonely, he has all the subjects in the paintings for company. His favorite? The lovely Ms. Wren in Auguste Wrenoir’s The Loge. Making his rounds on the night of his birthday, Mr. O. discovers that things aren’t quite as they should be, that something very odd is going on in all the galleries. And so begins a happy night full of birthday surprises. This book cleverly introduces children to famous masterpieces and art history, while entertaining parents with painful painterly puns.
Join A.J., the Mütter Museum’s junior-est guide, on a tour of the world’s best-known medical museum. A.J. will take you on a fun and wildly educational journey through the Mütter’s amazing collection of medical specimens and objects. Accompanied by playful illustrations, this look at medical mysteries-and-marvels will enthrall and inform science lovers of all ages. A.J. covers all of your questions; from the height of the museum’s skeleton Giant, to the length of the one-of-a-kind Megacolon. Learn all about how the human body works (or doesn’t!), and keep your eyes peeled for some of the museum’s most famous, high-spirited residents!
Gr 3–8—A junior guide named A.J. and his ghostly companions take readers on a museum tour that is not for the faint of heart. The Mütter Museum, part of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, has been a repository for medical oddities, specimens, wax models, and antique medical equipment since it was founded by Dr. Thomas Dent Mütter in 1863. After A.J. explains how to pronounce the umlauted in the doctor’s last name, Mütter is the first ghost to appear on the pages of this whimsically illustrated tour. Dhody, the museum’s curator, shares exhibits that will appeal to readers who have an interest in the human body, and the stomach for gross details. There is the adipocere (corpse wax) that is the substance of the “Soap Lady,” the horn made out of the skin that grew from a Frenchwoman’s head in the 1800s, a megacolon that once contained “40 pounds of poo,” and more. As each specimen is introduced, its ghost climbs out of the display to join the tour group. One of the ghosts uses the megacolon as a balloon. The playful drawings lighten the tone and add to the appeal. Back matter includes further reading and photographs from the museum collection. Older readers could be motivated to learn more about the museum and its history. VERDICT Just what the doctor ordered. This engaging picture book is an obvious choice for a book talk.—Kathleen Isaacs, Children’s Lit. Specialist, Pasadena, MD
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL 07-01-2020