Reviews for Imagine!

by Raul Colon

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Though Colón (Draw!) grew up in New York City, he didn't visit the city's art museums until he was an adult. The powerful idea of encountering original modern masterworks as a child, his author's note says, inspired this wordless fantasy. Using the deeply saturated hues and combed textures of his signature style, the artist draws a brown-skinned boy hopping onto his skateboard, sailing across the Brooklyn Bridge, and heading into the Museum of Modern Art, checking his helmet and board at the entrance. Inside, he encounters Rousseau's The Sleeping Gypsy, Picasso's Three Musicians, and Matisse's Icarus. He's awed by the paintings-Colón draws him with his hands clasped behind his head-and is overjoyed when the figures burst from their frames. After dancing with the boy out onto the street, they tour famous New York landmarks together-fast-moving stills show the figures in improbable N.Y.C. settings with humorous believability-before returning to the museum. Back in Brooklyn, the figures remain in the boy's mind, and he creates some magnificent art of his own. Colón's vibrant scenes make it clear that visiting works of art can breathe magic into the everyday and inspire further creativity afterward. Ages 4-8. Agent: Gail Morgan, Morgan Gaynin Agency. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

PreS-Gr 2-A young boy skateboards across the Brooklyn Bridge to the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. There he encounters works by some of the most famous artists in the collection: Rousseau, Picasso, and Matisse. The enchanting figures leap off their canvases and join the boy on a tour of the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Times Square, and Coney Island before returning to their frames. On his way home, the newly inspired child envisions painting murals on the sides of the buildings he passes and falls asleep with his head filled with the images he's internalized. In an author's note, Colón explains that he never saw original art in museums as a child, but was overwhelmed with emotion when he encountered the paintings as an adult. His wordless picture book captures the drama of a personal artistic experience and the lasting impact it can have. The paintings he represents in his subtly textured pencil, lithograph, and watercolor illustrations are recognizable to those who know them and captivating even for those meeting them for the first time. -VERDICT A compelling introduction to the power of art and an irresistible invitation to creativity, to boot. Best shared one-on-one or with a small group, with plenty of time to pore over the brilliant images within.-Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Library, NY © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

In Colsn's wordless love letter to the experience of visiting an art museum, a brown-skinned boy skateboards to Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art. Figures from paintings cavort with him throughout NYC, after which the boy's new friends return to their canvases and he creates a mural of their likenesses in his Brooklyn neighborhood. Colsn's mixed-media illustrations in his signature stippled and crosshatched textures hum with energy and jubilation. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

In Coln's newest wordless tribute to creativity, a young child kindles his imagination during an art museum visit. A boy (gendered in the author's note) emerges onto the city street with a skateboard in hand. The young skateboarder drifts through the city and over a bridge, ending up at the Museum of Modern Art. Inside, he surrenders his skateboard at a checkroom and strides into the museum. Similar to his previous reflection on imagination, Draw! (2014), Coln's latest again challenges readers to discover inspiration through ingenious means. Wonder fills the boy's face as he observes the artworks adorning the museum walls, including Pablo Picasso's Three Musicians, Henri Rousseau's The Sleeping Gypsy, and Henri Matisse's Icarus. When the larger-than-life characters from these paintings break free from the canvas and join him, the boy and his newfound company dance their way out of the museum and onto the streets of New York City. What follows is a series of merry adventures sweeping past familiar landmarks like Times Square and the Statue of Liberty. Inspired by the author's museum experiences, the story leaps off every page thanks to the textured artwork brimming with buoyant body movement and cast in muted colors and striking patterns. It's over all too soon. A few goodbyes back in the museum, and the boy goes on his way, stopping briefly to leave his mark on the city's walls.Beautifully euphoric. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* A brown-skinned boy, living in a New York City borough, rides his skateboard into Manhattan to visit the Museum of Modern Art for the first time. After the boy views several revered paintings, his inspired imagination enables him to enter one of the pictures and then lead the characters out of three separate works of art. He and seven of the images, including a dog and a lion, dance out of the museum. They all spend the day experiencing some New York City highlights, such as the Statue of Liberty and the Coney Island Cyclone roller coaster, eating hot dogs from a street vendor and having a sing-along in a park. Colón's signature colored pencils and watercolor scratchboard-style illustrations bring the magical adventure to life. Rich colors and textures create paintings readers will want to spend time studying. References to famous artists and their work are sprinkled throughout: Matisse's Icarus conjures up a hat when emerging from his frame; the flat, angular shapes of Picasso's Three Musicians become rounded and animated; and Rousseau's The Sleeping Gypsy awakens to join the fun. The author/illustrator has combined his love of music and illustration to create a delightful, wordless tribute to the arts, with a magical touch.--Owen, Maryann Copyright 2010 Booklist