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*Matisse on the Loose* by Georgia Bragg- young readers fantasy book review
Also by Georgia Bragg:

How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous
Matisse on the Loose
by Georgia Bragg
Ages 7-11 160 pages Delacorte July 2009 Hardcover    

Eleven-year-old Matisse, named after the famous artist Henri Matisse, has a unique family. His father is an eccentric caterer who builds his own grills and prepares whole animals; his mother is the head of security at the local art museum. Although sometimes embarrassed by his family, Matisse has found a place for himself at the museum. A talented artist himself, he paints replicas of famous works of art and brings them home for display.

When the Henri Matisse exhibit comes to town, Matisse copies a portrait of the artistís son, Pierre; it looks exactly like the original. When the security system is down, Matisse takes down the original and hangs up his copy. He only intends to make the switch for a minute, just to see how it looks - but the guards come and ask him to leave and take the original portrait with him.

The remainder of the book follows Matisseís antics as he tries to find a way to return the original to the museum without getting caught. Telling only his best friend of the dilemma, the mishaps surrounding his plans to return the painting are filled with lots of physical comedy, leaving the reader wishing for a video covering the boysí adventures.

The high-tech gadgetry of the museum guard adds a fun dimension to the story line. In the end, Pierre Matisse comes to speak at the museum, and Matisse finds resolution to his problem in confession.

Obvious lessons in telling the truth and pursuing your own original artwork instead of copying from others complete the story. Overall, the book has a simple plot and is a quick read. Perfect for an intermediate grade book report, the plot is easy to follow, funny, and simple to summarize. An authorís note on her inspiration for the story, and details on real art thieves provides for an interesting conclusion.

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  Kristine Wildner/2009 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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