April 9, 2020


Continuing this week's theme of traveling through art, What a Masterpiece! by Riccardo Guasco wordlessly carries readers through 30 famous pieces of art, all reimagined in Guasco's unique style.

A young boy wakes up to an alarm coming from Salvador Dalí's melted clocks and finds his daily adventures taking him down MC Escher's staircase, into the kitchen with Amedeo Modigliani's Jeanne Hébuterne in Red Shawl and René Magritte's Son of Man, and on a bus ride with Banksy's Balloon Girl painted on the side. The boy hops off the bus and walks through an orchard of Botticelli women until the trees thin and he finds massive pile of every masterpiece he's encountered along the way. The boy deposits his own painting onto the pile, creating his own masterpiece from everything he's seen.

Guasco has a rich style that both blends colors together and keeps them separate from each other. It's no mystery, then, that he's a master at combining two millennia worth of masterpieces to create the ultimate piece of art. While every scene is undoubtedly abstract, each one also feels grounded and relatable in the individual actions they portray -- taking the stairs, eating breakfast, taking a bus ride -- so readers never feel the need to rush through every spread. Rather, the delight comes in experiencing these single moments in the singular ways Guasco presents them.

What a Masterpiece! publishes next week on April 14 from Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.

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