Seeking Cézanne

A Children’s Mystery Inspired by Paul Cézanne and Other Artists

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Pub Date 31 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 31 Jan 2022

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When Jamie and her brother Billy are trapped inside a painting, they want nothing more than to get back to the real museum. But every time they try going back, the museum disappears. They need to find Paul Cézanne to reveal the trick to getting home--and that's not easy. To find him, they need to learn how to experience and appreciate artistic works.

Step into a world of art and adventure with Jamie and Billy as they navigate among several styles of painting by artists from six countries. In the form of a mystery, the two children learn to recognize the work of Paul Cézanne as compared to Claude Monet, Isaac Levitan, and others. The book is exciting on its own and can also support a student’s understanding of the National Core Arts Standards. Grades 2 to 4.

When Jamie and her brother Billy are trapped inside a painting, they want nothing more than to get back to the real museum. But every time they try going back, the museum disappears. They need to...

Available Editions

ISBN 9780997139358

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)

Average rating from 18 members

Featured Reviews

Seeking Cezanne follows brothers Jamie and Billy on a trip to the museum with their grandmother where they find themselves trapped in a painting and must find Cezanne so he can help them leave. Along their journey they encounter different Cezanne pairings and a few from other artist. With Cezanne's help they are able to return to their grandmother with a better appreciation for art. The book is cute and I really like that images of actual paintings were used as illustrations rather than an artist's interpretation of the partings. Some of the pages have a lot of words on them, so while the vocabulary is simple, younger children may need someone to read it to them. I appreciated that there was information about all the featured works in the back of the book. Thank you to NetGalley and Canoe Tree Press for the ARC.

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I loved the premise here! 2 brothers go to a Cézanne exhibit with grandma and get lost in a painting. To get back out they have to find Cézanne in the painting by learning about his artistic style. The text itself was hard to read, but I‘m assuming that was just the ARC font. There was a lot of text and art terminology, and I kept thinking this wouldn‘t hold the average picture book reader‘s attention unless they were already into painting. I got the feeling this could be more successful right now as a middle grade graphic novel.

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What an interesting concept!
I am a huge fan of Cezanne so we were already off to a good start. On top of beautiful art, you get to learn a bit about what goes into creating art and it’s also a fun little story.

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Seeking Cezanne by Ted Macaluso is an utterly charming story that, while geared towards a younger audience, will certainly appeal to all ages. Jamie and Bill are on a trip to the museum with Grandma, and are on a mission to find Cezanne. Along the way, they become immersed in the landscapes and figures featured in the paintings, and even engage with several of them, gaining an entirely new appreciation for the works that may have seemed previously uninspiring. Featuring twenty six works from Cezanne, Monet, and Nesterov, to name only a few, this story is a virtual and visual feast. I would highly recommend sharing it with any art lover, either present or future.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Canoe Tree Press, and author Ted Macaluso for providing me with an ARC.

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As a lover of art I've often thought about stepping into a painting. Ted Malcaluso delivers a story of Jamie and his brother Billy who do just that while on a trip to a museum with their grandmother. They have to wander through several paintings looking for the artist to find a way out. This is a clever way to teach art appreciation to younger readers. The boys learn to look at the painting, for shapes, the mood it creates, brushstroke differences and use of colors all while searching for an escape. This book focuses on Cezanne showing ten of his paintings and a sketch but also other paintings and artists. The guide to the paintings at the back of the book gives titles and time periods for most of the works. Most include a museum listing for the work or noting if in a private collection, but oddly a few did not. The book is geared to elementary aged readers but for younger grades it would be need to be read by an adult or teacher. Thank you to NetGalley and Canoe Tree Press for a temporary eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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What a charming book! Targeted for children aged seven and up; bursting with reproductions of classic art, captured with color and energy breathing life onto every page - this visually spectacular and lovely little book teaches children about the artist Cézanne, helping set the stage for a life-long appreciation of his style, the moods he worked to capture, and the mysteries to be felt when you learn to let go and simply “step inside” a piece of art to let it speak to you.

As the narrator Jamie, and her little brother, Billy, visit a museum with their grandmother, they unexpectedly find themselves inside a strange new world, which they have somehow entered through a self-portrait of Cézanne, with no discernible path-way back to Grandma or the museum they came from. It’s only through their stumble-forward journey, requiring closer inspection of the painted world around them as they advance (and aided by snippets of guidance provided by the illustrated characters living within the classic works of art they find themselves immersed in), that the children come to understand art as a conversation with the artist, allowing them a greater appreciation for “Art” itself, the works of many grand masters, and a deeper identification and understanding of the marvelous work of the artist Cézanne.

A wonderful treat for art lovers everywhere, and in particular those wishing to help impart a similar spark in the children they share their worlds with - this book, its clever plotting, and the delightful lessons it seamlessly introduces - is not to be missed.

I’m looking forward to reading more in what I understand to be a series of similar artist-appreciation works from this wonderful author.

A great big thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.

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A big thank you to NetGalley and Canoe Tree Press for the ARC. I am voluntarily reviewing this book. This is classified as a children's book, but I think adults may enjoy it as well. I enjoyed the unique way it incorporated the art into the story. It is a unique way to learn about art. It's a bit of adventure and mystery. I believe that this is the first in a series. This may open up an avenue for a group of students who have no access to museums. 4 stars. Truly enjoyable.

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This is an interesting and ambitious concept for teaching art history. The unique approach may capture the interest of otherwise reluctant readers. I loved the generous amount pictures included--26 in total (16 Cezanne and 10 other artists). They are vividly rendered and captivating!

Where I was a bit unsure was the target age range for this story. On the one hand, some of the story (a trip to the art museum with Grandma) skews a bit younger, but the amount of text and the vocabulary used are more appropriate for middle school (or possibly very strong 5th grade readers). That said, the language was sophisticated and expressive and I would be thrilled with a student picking this up, even if a bit of support was needed.

Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review!

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I love art. I love museums. I love mysteries. This was the perfect little surprise! While I'm not the biggest Cezanne fan, I thought the use of him and his paintings was PERFECT for a kids book. Since it was advertised as a book for kids I thought it would be more of a picture book, so I was surprised at the amount of words on some of the pages!! Maybe advertising this as a juvenile book would make more sense. I still really enjoyed this and can see me recommending this for the library to purchase.

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Pros: One of my favorite genres of books is books about art and artists, so I wanted to read this book as soon as I saw the cover . . . even though it is a children’s book and I am in my mid-30s. The descriptions of the paintings and how a person can (figuratively) get lost in a painting reminded me of the power of museums and how important they are to inspiring people of all ages. (But literally getting lost in a painting sounds like a dream . . . depending on the painting!) I can see the premise of this book expanding to a series where each book features the paintings of a different artist and am interested to read the author’s book featuring van Gogh.

Cons: I liked the premise more than the execution of this book. I’m a bit confused as to what age group it is for as there was more text than I was expecting.

Thank you to NetGalley and Canoe Tree Press for the opportunity to read this book.

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Seeking Cézanne takes readers on a whimsical surreal adventure through the eyes of a child narrator. Dive into famous artworks and open up your imagination to the detailed descriptions of the settings and names of new artists, their styles, and their works. A great read for children before heading to an art museum to help them better appreciate new artworks. A guide at the end of the text lists all the artworks and artists as well as where they are located. A beautiful book with lots of potential both at home for personal use and in a library collection.

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Hmmm... Well-meaning, but slightly clunky, this book has our young female narrator, Jamie, and her kid brother, both taken to a large art gallery by their grandma, who promptly gubbers off, leaving them to step into a painting. They're now on the shores of a lake in a lovely landscape by Albert Bierstadt, but cannot find a way home – every way they turn they find themselves looking at a different canvas. Through meeting people from other paintings they get told they must follow a trail of Cezanne works and find the man himself for the way back. So they – and we – get a lesson in what Cezannes look like, and art appreciation, and have a peculiar fantasy adventure layered on top. To me the mix of both halves in this edutainment was quite an ungainly one at times, with the kids wholly unrealistic when they discover art is supposed to make you feel, and the contrivance of the way-back adventure not helped by a cheesy, obvious kind of resolution. So while I think there is an admirable intent here, that was not quite matched by the story or its telling. That said, the journey the kids take through multiple images, the way the canvases follow each other to form a magical, ever-changing world yet knit together to create a logical path through the scenery of the book, is well-sustained.

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