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3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  164 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Circles and squares! Squiggles and wiggles and stripes!

When Janson the mouse discovers the art of such greats as Picasso, Matisse, and Warhol, the bright, bold colors and shapes capture her imagination and spark her creativity. Join Janson on a colorful tour of contemporary art in this new work from an acclaimed author and illustrator.
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published August 21st 2012 by Roaring Brook Press
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Janson, a sweet little mouse, inhabits an art museum and is enthralled with the famous artworks she sees on the walls. She starts copying them in her own style, and each reproduction has a mouse-y twist. (Warhol, Munch, Picasso and Matisse are but a few of the artists whose works she copies.) When a section of the museum is closed for renovation, she fills the rooms with her paintings. Of course, the director notices her work and gives her her own exhibition, at which she gets mixed reviews. Ult...more
Jim Erekson
It's really informational text more than it is a story book. Zalben puts a survey of modern art into a simple narrative. She does not attempt to explain the pieces shown or to do interpretation. This was nice. The concept of styles is brought home with Zalben's own painting attributed to Janson, her main character. As a survey of art it's good just to look. If I were reading this with children, I'd want to have larger examples from many of these artists on hand. The list of artists at the end wh...more
This is a book that my grand-daughters enjoyed having me read to them. One night, Janson, the museum mouse, discovered an art gallery. What happened when she began copying some of the masterpieces? Her colorful versions, featuring mice (of course!) are finally featured in her own exhibit with her distinctively painted “mousterpieces.” The front cover of the book frames Janson's painting, which sets the stage for the introduction of subsequent artists’ styles of painting including such masters as...more
A "guide" to modern art ("guide" is in the subtitle) for pre-K, and not much older. Janson is a mouse who lives in a museum, and one day she wanders into the modern art section..."and her little world open[s]." "Mousterpiece" introduces (but doesn't name, except in the back matter) a good number (22!) of famous modern artists and techniques in a friendly way: Janson paints her own pictures in styles inspired by the art she sees ("in dots"=a portrait of a mouse, Seurat-style; "in squares, circles...more
Lu Benke
If you can get over the idea that this mouse is allowed to live openly in the museum and be given her own exhibit, you can have fun seeing the mousestyle parodies of different artists' work. There's enough white space behind and around the different styles that your eye plays with the mouse's masterpieces. The way that the paint goes off the canvas and other mishaps happen creates splashes of humor. It almosts ends up being a puzzle book with the final pages giving thumbnails about the artists a...more
Sandy Brehl
Why is this art? That's the quests Zalben pursued in her art training, and this little book is a wonderful introduction to modern art, appealing to the youngest and purposeful for anyone interested in art. (Shouldn't that be everyone?) This little museum mouse-artist discovers the modern wing, inspiring her to explore these techniques and approaches other work. Museum routines add to the story when the wing is closed for renovation, she leaves her examples behind, and the unlicensed response is...more
When Janson the mouse who lives in a museum stumbles into the parts of the museum where artwork is displayed, she begins copying the artistic styles of the artists whose work is on display. Eventually, her work is seen, leading to her own art exhibition and developing her own art style. the author/illustrator has cleverly replicated some of the most influential artists of all time in Janson's paintings. Back matter includes thumbnail sketches of each artwork and the artist associated with it. Th...more
I really liked this book. The story was great and the illustrations were excellent! I think this book would be great for young children, who would enjoy the story and pictures. It would also be good for older children, because the end of the book contains information on the artists whose paintings Janson the mouse was imitating. All in all, this was a fun read. My only complaint is that the information on the artists at the back did not give dates or paintings for all the artists whose work Jans...more
Jansen the mouse lives in a museum. She loves to look at the art. When part of the museum is closed for renovation and there is no artwork there, Jansen begins hanging her own artwork there. Her artwork is inspired by other great artists and always features a mouse. I love that at the end, her greatest masterpiece is own that she created in her own unique style rather than by copying someone else. Nice book to introduce kids to some of the great works of art and to show that we each react differ...more
Mousterpiece is a great little picture book about a little mouse who lives in a museum and is inspired by many well known artists. What I love the most about it is that she expresses her love of art by making paintings like the ones she has seen, but in the end, it is her own work that caught someone's attention because it was her own unique style.

This would be a wonderful book for use in a school that participates in the Junior Great Artists program. Or for any parent who exposes their childre...more
Bridget R. Wilson
Janson Mouse lives in an art museum. When the museum close, Janson explores. A new exhibit inspires Janson to try her hand at art. She paints, draws, and cuts until she discovers her own style.

What I thought: A delightful book. I can't wait to use it for my Art/Painting story time in February. The illustrations are nice. I can't choose a favorite. The additional information in the back of the book is wonderful. I find myself wanting to try these different styles.

Story Time Themes: Art, Painting,...more
Janson the mouse lives in an art museum. Each night when she comes out she likes to look at all of the art. But one night she finds a wing that is closed for renovation. She is crushed. But she decides to create her own art in the style of her favorites to fill empty space.

After awhile someone notices the new art. And when asked who's art is is she fesses up and is offered an art show. Janson is excited. Her favorite of her own artwork is the one that is her style alone.

Christine Turner
Artists -- Juvenile fiction.
Mice -- Juvenile fiction
Art museums -- Juvenile fiction.
Museums -- Juvenile fiction.

Circles and squares! Squiggles and wiggles and stripes! When Jansen the mouse discovers the art of such greats as Picasso, Matisse, and Warhol, the bright, bold colors and shapes capture her imagination and spark her creativity. Join Jansen on a colorful tour of contemporary art in this new work from an acclaimed author and illustrator.
Slim story, but the art is nice overall. Felt like an opportunity was missed when the main character is described as living in a corner of the museum she (a mouse) is shown very literally camped-out--not a home--in the corner of the room. Loved seeing all the nods to famous artists throughout the book, and the styles are interpreted well. Overall this book just never came together for me.
I like the idea of the book, but the story simply wasn't well told. I kept feeling like I had missed a page, or that an extra clarifying sentence was needed; it just didn't flow right.

It would have been nice to have the paintings/painters being copied featured on the page with the mouse's work. The mouse's artwork are charming self-portraits done "in the style of", which is clever.
Each night after the art museum she lives in closes, Janson the mouse explores and is inspired to make her own paintings. This is a lovely story about developing one's own style, perfect for budding artists. I especially like how, on page 28, Janson encounters some critics who don't love her work...but this does not deter Janson from creating her "mousterpiece."
Age: K-2

A nice introduction to the various styles of artwork that might inspire children to duplicate or create their own. However, the story had some implausible loose ends (nobody noticed the mouse sleeping in the corner of a museum?), and a curious suspension of disbelief that mice and humans can talk to each other, let alone have an art exhibit.
A little mouse who lives in the art museum begins to create her own paintings based on the styles of famous artists and paintings. So cute! I think art teachers could use this to introduce famous artists and paintings, or as a follow-up to studies of specific artists and their styles. Either way, kids will like it and it will help reinforce their learning.
Teresa Scherping
A mouse named Janson lives in a museum and is inspired by the artwork around her to create her own imitations of famous modern art. At the end, she creates a painting all in her own style - her "mousterpiece." I love the way the famous artwork was adapted into a mouse version. This would be an interesting introduction to modern art for kids.
A great educational book for your children of all ages. My 5 yr old loved it as well as my 3 yr old twins. Lots of good information with beautiful pictures that will help keep children engaged. Many mouse recreations of famous artwork. Great addition to any modern art lesson! A great addition to any children's library.
Well, I don't think there was enough of the actual art to be any kind of a "guide", and there wasn't a strong enough story without it. Although I did like, that after all the copying the mouse did, there about being a true artist means working in your own style.
My art teacher said she would use this book. I recognized many works of art and was pleased to see artist bios in the back matter. I was a bit confused by the mouse's name but the was also explained in the back. The mouses's strange outfit was not explained however.
Feb 08, 2013 June rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Modern art for young children
Recommended to June by: Cap Choices
Shelves: art, picture-book
A mouse living in an art museum discovers modern art, and tries all the new styles she sees. However, her "mousterpiece" is done in her own way and in her own style.

Brief information is given at the end about the artists, Janson, the mouse, is intrigued by.
Stephanie Frederick kierys
Love this book! My art history class also used the Janson text book. I love reading this book to my daughter and am going to buy (borrowed it from library) to add to our personal collection! I love the Andy Warhol soup can w/the little mouse face on it!
Burbank Library Children's Department
A simple story of a mouse who lives in a museum and one night begins to paint after being inspired by the art on the walls. The end notes give a brief bio of each artist represented in the story. A great intro to art for little ones.
What a great introduction to art for young readers! Loads of great details and information in the back as well (unfortunately some further proofreading should be done because artist Jackson Pollock's last name is misspelled!)
A little mouse lives in a museum and copies works of art done by famous artists, such as Warhol, Picasso, and Matisse. She eventually comes up with her own style and creates a Mousterpiece.
A nice introduction to modern art. While the list of artists in the back is helpful, having (at least)the title of the work by each artist referenced in the book would have been nice.
Tracee Yawger
Wonderful way to introduce many artistic styles to kids. Miss Becky will most likely be using this when we have artist based story times for preK this spring at the library
Allison Parker
A sweet, very simple introduction to famous modern artists. But it's a shame no women artists were represented, especially since the main character is a little girl mouse.
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