BOOK REVIEWS

The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-02-20 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 32 user ratings
ISBN:0375836063
LANGUAGE:English

"As a child I loved going to museum...heck I still do. I remember reading stories of children running away from home to live inside of museums and quite frankly I wanted to do that more than anything.

The Girl in the Castle inside the Museum is a simple children's book that is about a girl who lives inside a miniture castle that is on display inside a museum. During the day children press their faces up to the glass to try and catch a glimpse of the girl in the castle. But at night when the children have gone home the girl in the castle is lonely. She dreams people coming to visit her.

This book is very hard for me to rate. The story itself was pretty awful. It had the potential to be something special but in the end it was about 2 stars for me and my son. But what makes this book is the illustrations. Oh my god! I could spend all day looking at these fantastical illustrations. They tell the story better than the words themselves. So beautiful and so haunting I just want to immerse myself in the world Nicoletta Ceccoli has drawn. The drawings are 5star worthy. So I'll have to give a mixed star review. For the illustrations alone a solid 5 stars. For the actual written story a solid 2 stars. I will not mark and stars for this review since I can't fairly give it both 5 and 2 stars
" said.

"As promised in yesterday's review of The Elephant Wish, this is my second review of a picture book I read recently that gave me the creeps. The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum (2008), written by Kate Bernheimer,and illustrated by Nicolette Ceccoli, shares The Elephant Wish's ethereal, dreamlike qualities, but whereas The Elephant Wish is at times humorous, The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum really struck me as sinister.

A lonely girl lives inside a castle, which is encased in a glass globe inside a museum. All day, boys and girls press their noses to the glass, studying her. The girl longs to be on the outside, and each night, she dreams of children who might be her friends.

I was okay up until this point. But the story takes a sudden turn when the narrator stops speaking in the third person about the girl and addresses the reader directly, saying, "Sometimes she even dreams about you." That sentence gave me such a chill, and it only got more disturbing from there. Returning to his description of the girl, the narrator tells us that she wants a picture of the reader to hang by her bedside so she won't feel so lonely. The haunting last line of the book is: "Do you see her? She sees you." Even now, just writing this review, I've got the heebie-jeebies! Wow!

I think what makes the book especially creepy is the otherworldly quality of the the illustrations. The girl seems like a ghost, just floating through the castle, and when she stares out of the page at the reader, she has no expression at all. I find that terrifying. The entire book felt like a haunting to me.

But if I set aside my fears for a moment, this book does offer an interesting opportunity to discuss empathy. While I think the idea of a girl imprisoned in a museum castle would be too strange and abstract for many preschoolers, it would spark interesting thought and discussion for older kids who are beginning to think beyond just themselves. How would it feel to be that lonely? Are there people who are that lonely living in our world? Do we see them, or do we look past them because their situation troubles us? This book raises these questions, and many more.

So, bottom line? The book is disturbing, but like I said about The Elephant Wish yesterday, its bizarre quality makes it possible for the book to convey emotions a more ordinary story might not be able to approach in quite the same way. I would definitely not recommend it to little ones prone to nightmares, or to really sensitive kids, because I found it quite troubling, and can only imagine how it might upset a four-year-old. But fans of the bizarre, the abstract, and the chilling will be drawn into its strange little world and want to read it again and again.
" said.

" A girl lives in a castle, inside a glass dome, inside a museum. Children come to the museum to stare at her. She is lonely and dreams of children who come visit.Story has no depth and the illustrations are creepy. " said.

" I so wanted to love this book. The illustrations are beautiful. However, the story is just mediocre. " said.

" The story is a little sad and creepy, but the art is stunning. " said.

" Creepy tale of a girl who lives in a miniature in a museum but with attractive images " said.

" The art by Nicoletta Ceccoli has this beautiful, dreamy, antique, magical other-worldly feel to it. At times the artwork has a lonely and somewhat spooky atmosphere, which works for this story. It's got great texture too. I would give the art 5 stars.The story is about loneliness and the narrator directly addresses the reader at times. Kids did not want a re-read. " said.

" Lovely, odd. I couldn't decide if I found it mysterious, surreal, or just ... weird. " said.

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