You Can’t Take a Balloon Into The Metropolitan Museum

  A few years ago, I took a day-trip to New York City with my sister and a friend. It was just before Christmas and the streets were crowded. I was excited because it was my first visit to the “big apple”. We decided to visit the Museum of Modern Art aka MoMA. My interest was peaked because I love art. As we moved from room to room, and I couldn’t contain my laughter, I learned something about myself that day. I don’t get modern art. Is a canvas entirely painted blue, or green, or black art? Is a three-sided mirror sculpture with a pile of white feathers in the middle art? They must be or they wouldn’t be in an art museum, right? Needless to say, I was disappointed with MoMa. Don’t get me wrong, there were some paintings I was glad to see, for example works by Van Gogh and others, but I had to wade through all the “strange” and puzzling pieces to get to them because they seemed to be housed in the furthest possible gallery in the museum. Many would disagree with me, saying that art doesn’t have to be aesthetically pleasing or even make sense to be art. It just has to evoke feelings. That may be true, but most of the art I saw that day succeeded only in evoking a “Huh? You got to be kidding me, that’s art?” response from me. So, I guess my taste in art isn’t very sophisticated. But I know what I like and what I don’t. The point I’m trying to make here is that I always wished we had visited a different museum that day. I am positive I would have enjoyed the Metropolitan Museum of Art much more than MoMa. The picture book You Can’t Take a Balloon Into The Metropolitan Museum by Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman and Robin Preiss Glasser is an excellent first introduction to fine art for young children. It’s a wordless picture book with oodles of detail in the illustrations which cleverly imitate the examples of real art from the MET pictured throughout. There is more information about each work of art at the end of the book. You Can’t Take a Balloon Into The Metropolitan Museum (published in 1998 by Dial Books FYR) is a work of art itself. Look on the bottom of the copyright page to read a description of how the illustrations were created. A mix of color and black and white illustrations, humor, and real works of art from the MET, this book will intrigue young and old alike.

2 thoughts on “You Can’t Take a Balloon Into The Metropolitan Museum

    • You don’t have to be a kid or even have kids to enjoy picture books. They’re great for all ages. Here’s what I recommend: take home a big stack of picture books from the library, plop down on your couch, and start reading. That’s what I do.


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