I love this board book series set in the British Museum. I was fortunate to have visited The British Museum years ago so it brought back fond memories. A half-day is not enough time though and I’d love to go back so armchair traveling will have to suffice through these books.
I’m giving away the four board books set in the British Museum to four winners. Please enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.
What books did I leave out? What are your favorite children’s books set in museums? Thanks for adding to this list!
Children’s Books Set in Art Museums
The British Museum board book series:
Colors: Early Learning at the Museum
I think my favorite object in the book is the cotton kimono for the color pink. I like how this book uses objects, paintings, pottery, cutlery, and clothing items, and more to showcase the British Museum and teach colors. [board book, ages 1 and up]
Opposites: Early Learning at the Museum
Who knew that objects from this museum could teach opposites so effectively? Open is a gate ajar in a painting. Closed is a lacquered wooden box from Asia. Cold is a snowy day in a Hasui block print; hot is an etching of a desert by George Elbert Burr. Very young kids will learn the concept of opposites while viewing priceless objects from a heralded museum. [board book, ages 1 and up]
123: Early Learning at the Museum
The toy cars for the number 3 are eye-catching! Other toys (or things kids like to play with) are featured as well: kites, dolls, drums, and horses. This book does an especially good job of gathering objects that kids can relate to. [board book, ages 1 and up]
ABC: Early Learning at the Museum
This ABC book is like running through a museum at high speed. It’s a fun jumble of the myriad of exhibits across a wide range of subjects at the British Museum. The nice thing is that each object can be further discussed because it might not be what a child would imagine for that word. [board book, ages 1 and up]
Can You Find It?: Search and Discover More Than 150 Details in 19 Works of Art by Judith Cressy
My oldest daughter liked this seek and find picture book when she was little. I’m not sure what happened to it, but I liked looking at the artwork very carefully to notice the minute details that I otherwise wouldn’t see. [hide and seek picture book, ages 4 and up]
The Shape Game by Anthony Browne
Mom’s choice for a birthday celebration is an art museum so the entire family has to go. It’s a chance to examine art with a critical eye. Leaving the museum with a sketchbook inspires the family to invent a doodle game. I like to play it with my kids. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
A Nickel, A Trolley, A Treasure House by Sharon Reiss Baker
The trip to the art museum for the family in The Shape Game inspired a new appreciation in art. In this picture book, Lionel, a boy growing up at the turn of the century in Lower East Side Manhattan, is inspired to become an artist after his teacher takes him on a special trip to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He has never seen an art museum before and it changes his world forever. This book is both a testament to the power of a teacher and to art. [picture book, ages 6 and up]
Dakota Crumb: Tiny Treasure Hunter by Jamie Michalak
Review by Children’s Books Heal:
“What a delightful and entertaining picture book that will remind readers of the “Night in the Museum” theme. Children will love the suspense of what is lurking around each gallery corner, as Dakota makes her way past exhibits of knights in armor, frozen statues, stuffed animals, pyramids, and mummies.
Readers will enjoy guessing just what she does with all the hidden treasures in her mouse hole. Such a clever story with beautiful double-page illustrations that support her nightly journey. Kelly Murphy’s eye-popping art really gives the reader a sense of drama and movement as Dakota scampers about. At the end of the story, readers will get a peek at Dakota’s list of treasures and can go on their own seek-and-find hunt looking for a lot of the treasures on her list. This is a perfect read-aloud.” [picture book, ages 3 and up]
Vincent’s Starry Night and Other Stories: A Children’s History of Art by Michael Bird, illustrated by Kate Evans
This is a beautiful art history book with works by major artists and really interesting stories about their lives, with particular detail to the work featured. If you want one art history tome for your kids, use this one. Enjoy it cover to cover, or just flipping around as the art catches your eye. [art history chapter book, ages 6 and up]
The Art Book for Children, Book Two from the Editors of Phaidon Press
A wonderful reference book for kids on 500 artists (painters and sculptors) starting from the Renaissance period up through modern times. It’s fun to look at and your child will say, “Hey, I can do that!” And it will be true! [nonfiction, ages 6-adult]
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
Called the Da Vinci Code for kids, Balliet combines an art quest mystery centering around Dutch master artist Vermeer. When an invaluable Vermeer painting disappears, Petra and
Calder is caught in an international art scandal. It will take their knowledge of the artist plus their clue-solving ability to crack this case. This is a series! [middle grade, ages 9 and up]
From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
I’ve harbored fantasies of running away and hiding out in an art museum after reading this book as a child. Unfortunately, this was not an option where I lived in Southern California where public transportation is limited and art museums are far away. Still, one could dream. I finally was able to visit the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art in college. I think there should be a tour that mimics this book. There probably is.
My kids didn’t love this book as much as I did as a child. I think the trick to this book is to read the first chapter with your child as it’s confusing. [middle grade, ages 10 and up]
J.R. Silver Writes Her World by Melissa Dassori
Review by Ms. Yingling Reads:
“Josephine Rose attends The Nichols School in New York City, and she and her friend Violet spend many happy hours at the Metropolitan Museum debating which bed the protagonists of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler would have used. When the new school year starts, however, Violet has made friends with Ava and seemed very distant. J.R. misses not only her best friend but her boisterous family. There is a new language arts teacher, Ms. Kline, and J.R. is very excited about the writing assignments, since she likes to emulate writers like Linda Sue Park and Jacqueline Woodson, and has a quirky writing routine. When Ms. Kline shows the class her collection of the school Gothamite magazine that she got from HER 6th-grade teacher, J.R. is particularly enthralled. When J.R. writes articles for assignments, she finds that the topics about which she writes seem to come true. When a local bookstore is about to lose its lease, will she be able to use her writing powers to change its destiny, or is that against Ms. Kline’s rules? And will she be able to mend her relationship with Violet?” [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
Children’s Books Set in Natural History Museums
Night at the Museum by Milan Trenc
A fun storybook to inspire the family to visit a museum of science! And the book is very different from the movie! [picture book, ages 3 and up]
The Dinosaur Expert by Margaret McNamara, illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Fossils are Kimmy’s favorite thing to collect but when she goes to the natural history museum with her class, Jake tells her that girls can’t be scientists. Dr. Brandoni de Gasparini discovered the dinosaur Gasparinisaura. Dr. Brandoni de Gasparini is a girl! Kimmy wants to grow up to be just like her! Role models matter! In the back matter by Kimmy, she lists other female paleontologists. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Sleepover at the Museum by Karen LeFrak, illustrated by David Bucs
A sleepover birthday party at the Museum of Natural History includes a scavenger hunt solving clues to find the best place to sleep. This is a fun way to explore the museum either through the book or in real life at a museum of natural history! There is a list of museums at the back including ones that host sleepovers. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
A Funny Thing Happened at the Museum by Davide Cali, illustrated by Benjamin Chaud
A trip to the museum becomes an adventure that combines the natural history section with the art exhibits. Henry’s teacher didn’t expect him to be quite so talented in maneuvering around the museum and reimagining the exhibits. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Giveaway: 4 Board Books from The British Museum
I’m giving away the four board books set in the British Museum to four winners. Please enter the Rafflecopter below to enter. I can only ship to U.S. addresses.
p.s. Related posts:
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Mystery
Visiting Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago: Kids Interacting with Art
Auguste Rodin Museum and Books for Kids
Ansel Adams: In Our Time at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston
The Little House: Her Story Exhibit at Cape Ann Museum
Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum
Art Museum Visit Brings Books Alive
The Pharoah’s Secret at the Museum of Fine Arts
What would you do If You Ran the Dr. Seuss Museum?
Dr. Seuss Museum Invite then Crickets
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10 thoughts on “Children’s Books Set in Museums”
“What are your favorite books for kids set in museums?” “From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” was one of my favorite books for goods. It’s probably the wish-fulfillment aspect, having a museum as your home and playground. I think it had to have been inspired by the statue of the angel in the French cultural center on 5th Avenue–it’s near the museum, and you couldn’t even walk by it at night and not see the statue with it’s fountain when you looked through the front door.
The author’s fiction imagined what was basically later proven–that the angel sculpture (actually probably a Cupid) is by the master Michelangelo.
“For goods”??? I meant “from childhood”!
And I see I said “it’s fountain,” rather than “its fountain.” I try to proofread and re-proofread messages every time, and still I sometimes post a message riven with mistakes….
Sleepover Museum is my fav.
Thanks so much for your great book recommendation Christine!
my favorite was the same as yours. As a matter of fact i have to read it this month for my book club!
I like A Getty Museum Alphabet By John Harris. In this beautiful book, details from paintings on display at the Getty Museum are used to illustrate the alphabet. If you have plans to visit the Getty, it would be easy to turn this book into an interactive treasure hunt: your kids can tour the museum looking for the details printed for each letter.
I don;t know of any, sorry!
Luke’s Way of Learning is one of my favorite books about museums for kids
Chasing Vermeer is one of my child’s favorites.