Behind the Canvas

Behind the CanvasWritten by Alexander Vance


This book was great fun to read. I would recommend it to art lovers of all ages.

Claudia is a quiet girl who sees a young boy in a painting at a gallery that her class visits. And then she doesn’t. The painting has changed. Later Claudia sees the same boy, Pim, in another painting. Pim and Claudia develop a relationship across the canvas.

This story is about a magical world of art and what is behind the art. There are exceptionally creative footnotes throughout the book, “excerpted from Dr. Buckhardt’s Art History for the Enthusiast and the Ignorant.” I wish that book existed. The footnotes are a great addition to the history, opinion, and humor in the book.The only way to make this better would be if Claudia had sketched some of the works of art in a notebook so that readers who are unfamiliar with the famous art works could have a better visual of the different pieces. Maybe there could be a link with images online connected to the author’s page. It really does help to have a background in famous pieces of art to get all the humor and adventure that takes place in the book.

So many wonderful things happen during this adventure. Claudia crosses the canvas and goes into the magical world behind the canvases. Pim has been trapped there by an evil woman. The characters can view the real world by looking through art works. There are magnificent connections between famous pieces of art and this story. There is honor in being an artist. The characters are multifaceted. Pim isn’t all good, nor is he all bad. The Mona Lisa is a bit of a flake. And, with all these things going on the story never gets lost, and is a great adventure. Really fun reading.

Review by Cheryl Baker, Teacher, Mill Creek Elementary
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 3 and up

Artists & Artwork Appearing in Behind the Canvas

Author Website: http://www.alexandervance.com/

Behind the Canvas
Written by Alexander Vance
Feiwel and Friends
327 pages
Release Date: February 23, 2016
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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