Sunday, July 3, 2011

Spooktacular Sunday: Monet's Ghost by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

Book Description:
Geena Howe loves art and is thrilled to find that she has the ability to literally project herself into paintings. She can even travel to places beyond what is depicted on the canvas, but can only come back at the spot where she came in. When Geena enters one of Monet's water lily paintings, she realizes that the moat with the water lilies where she came into the painting is gone, trapping her.
Geena Howe has just found out that she can make herself go into paintings. Meaning, she can stand in front of the paintings at the art gallery and will herself to be in them. While inside them she can walk around and see what is happening in the world of the painting.  
She really liked Claude Monet, so one day she decided to go into the Water Lilies painting. What she experiences inside this painting is very different from the other paintings she has "visited". She gets stuck in this painting! When she first goes in she notices a castle and heads toward it. Here she finds Crispin and his aunt who inform her about the castle being haunted by a ghost that likes to change things. She does not believe them until things around her begin to change. The scariest change for her is when the moat that she used to get into the painting disappears and she is stuck in the painting world. 
Her and Crispin set off on an adventure to find the ghost and get him to put the painting back to normal so that she can return home. This takes them on many wild adventures, like almost being erased, their clothes and appearance changing at the whim of the ghost, and most of all, going into the maze that she cannot find her way out of and meeting a centaur.   
*Spoiler Alert* At the end Geena meets the ghost who happens to be the painter Claude Monet! But she still has to convince him to repaint the moat so she can return to her time, and then figure out how to get home.
This book would be great for any upper elementary school or early junior high school reader.  It was full of adventure and narrow escapes. It had a lot of character and you never knew where it was going to take Geena next. I really liked how the story was presented as a ghost that was changing things inside the painting, and that the characters in the painting had no idea they were not real and existed only inside the art. It was interesting when Genna met Monet because you found out that the people and places in his artwork were inspired by people and places from long ago. Great book!
*Reviewed by Jenny O.
*This book belongs to me and we chose to review for fun.
*Anna here~ I was thrilled beyond reason when I discovered that one of my all time favorite authors wrote a book aimed at a younger audience. This meant that I could introduce my children to her writing that much sooner! I thought this concept was wonderful, rather like Magic Tree House books, and loved the combination of mystery and art. Definitely a keeper! I'm putting this copy right next to all my Saint Germain books!
If you are interested in a copy then you might have to cruise around your local library because I could only find copies on Ebay.

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