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The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  425 ratings  ·  115 reviews
Once there was a girl who lived in a castle. The castle was inside a museum. When children visited, they’d press against the glass globe in which the castle sat, to glimpse the tiny girl. But when they went home, the girl was lonely. Then one day, she had an idea! What if you hung a picture of yourself inside the castle inside the museum, inside this book? Then you’d able ...more
ebook, 40 pages
Published December 19th 2012 by Schwartz & Wade (first published January 1st 2008)
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i first saw this book because of miriam's review, and then when ceridwen reviewed it, too, i just had to order it in to the store for me. and i totally agree with what ceridwen says about negative reviews being just as effective at helping another reader decide if a book is for them or not. i am pretty stubborn and self-motivated, when it comes to books, i like to make up my own mind. miriam didn't like it, ceridwen did, but i knew that cover art was calling to me, so i had to see it for myself. ...more
A little arty, a little abstract, a little sad. I'm not sure to whom I would recommend this odd, brief little story of loneliness -- certainly not to children, it would be depressing and potentially upsetting.

I don't think everything distressing is necessarily inappropriate for children, but there are plenty of important real topics they should know about without inflicting this strange, artificial tale of a girl trapped alone in a model castle in a museum case upon them. When I was little it wo
Isa Lavinia

actual rating: 1.5 stars

What a disappointment :(
Those 1.5 stars are entirely awarded to the illustrations. Nicoletta Ceccoli deserved to illustrate an actual worthy story, not this... thing.

The story is absolutely pointless.
"Reminiscent of The Lady of Shalott'"? How? Because they were both in a tower?
"An original fairy tale"? Where? This was artsy fartsy stringed nonsense attempting to be taken as ~deep~.

There was absolutely no writing skill, very little imagination where the story is concer
I give this five stars for its otherworldly illustrations. Anyone who noticed the great cover of "Horns and Wrinkles" will enjoy these pictures, "rendered in acrylic paint, clay models, photography, and digital media." This is way I love to see the computer being used for art: to polish technique, save time, and add layers, but to leave the execution mysterious, and not have the final result scream "I drew this in PhotoShop." This is the same reason I will always prefer "The Ugly Truckling"'s il ...more
*I moved my introduction to the end of the review, since it was a bit long and boring...

First of all, the illustrations. Obviously. They were simply haunting, beautiful, disturbing and altogether fantastic. Like the porcelain dolls at that bed 'n breakfast. You know the one, you're worried they'll come alive, but somehow you're hoping for it as well because they're sad and lonely and beautiful. ...I'm not talking about the creepy porcelain dolls. ... the ones that you're afraid will come to life
Inside the Castle inside a Museum that is Inside the Story that is this book, which was inside the imagination of Kate Bernheimer and Nicoletta Ceccoli. Dreamers inside dreams who have dreams wherein the reader is brought to mind.
The story and its images would defy the dimensions of a page. Ceccoli plays with dimensions (some Escheresque details), media, and shadows, while Bernheimer acknowledges the reader in a theatrical violation of the fourth wall. The story resides in simultaneity, multiple
Lisa Vegan
This was a peculiar and rather creepy book. I do think some young children would enjoy this but I’d be cautious about introducing it to children who are very sensitive or who easily over empathize with others.

It’s a sad story that the gimmick of the child/children reader(s) putting their photo in the book toward the end (to be company for the lonely girl trapped in the castle inside the museum) doesn’t suffice to make it an consoling or uplifting experience, at least it wouldn’t have for me whe
If I were to give a review based on illustrations alone, then The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum would be five stars. Sadly though, the actual story is lacking.

The concept of The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum is brilliant. It's a story of a little doll that lives in a castle inside a display globe at the museum. She's very curious about the children who come to see her. She's also very lonely when they go home, and dreams about having friends. Again, it's a beautiful concept, but I
May 17, 2011 Natalie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: girls 6+, dollhouse and miniature lovers
Giving this four stars for my daughter who deemed it "cool" (that's a four in kidspeak) and confirmed it would make a fun gift book for girls 6+

Anyone who's ever stood as I did as a girl looking into Colleen Moore's scale Fairy Castle at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago has imagined the girl in the castle inside the museum and will be pleased to meet her! For kids who have never seen such a thing, this book is possibly the next best thing!

Take the Tour!

What you might see: murals and
This is a picture book unlike any book I've ever read. The premise is that there is a girl who lives in a castle inside a museum. The castle is encased in a glass globe, and when children come to the musem, they press their noses against the glass globe and get a glimpse of the girl in the castle. When the children leave at night, she gets lonely even though she is surrounded by beautiful things. At night she dreams of children her own size visiting her, and "sometimes the girl in the castle eve ...more
The illustrations in this book are absolutely amazing. I would frame every picture in this book if I could. Oddly, the moment I saw the pictures I thought, "This is like a kid friendly version of Dali." I am glad I read this book without reading any reviews first. Personally, the haunting/fantasy/gothic-like tone in this book is actually a nice change! Some children would really appreciate this! It is a FAR cry from --the happy bear lived in a happy house and everyone was oh-so-happy.

This book
The illustrations. The drawings of Nicoletta Ceccoli are amazing. "Delicate" and "tender" are good words for describing them. But I feel also a closeness to the drawings - this may be because of the way she draws the faces: big with un-realistic distance between the eyes & mouth (remember the licking pets?). If you want to see more of her work, try here:

The book. The idea of the story is okay, the "dreams" that the girl inside the museum castle is excellent. But the wa
The art here is lovely, so lovely that I had the urge to rip out the pages to hang them framed on my wall. And since there's really no substance to the text, maybe that wouldn't be such a bad idea. As much as I loved the illustrations, I think the story (about a lonely princess in a castle who dreams about children visiting her) was sort of boring and lacked kid appeal. The inside cover calls it an original fairy tale but the book lacks any of the traditional fairy tale elements aside from the f ...more
The cover is very inviting, but I'm not nearly as into the illustrations inside. They have that pasted-in quality (along with a moonglow quality) that I know is intentional but that I am not into at all.

But I also don't like the story for children or for myself. It's a strange story, with a dose of creepiness, that culminates in a pile of pointlessness. I suppose if someone really likes the artwork (as I could see many people doing), then it's worth it to have around. But it reminds me a bit of
Tori Williford
I was not expecting this sad and haunting story when I chose to read this book. And even after reading it, I am still not sure how I feel about it. It was not one of my favorite fantasy children’s books but it did have a mysterious appeal with the idea of the lonely girl in the castle inside a museum. It makes you feel for the little girl when the children leave and she is sad and lonely and starts to dream of them. The best part were the illustrations, they were beautiful, dream like and tell t ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I'm not sure what to think of this. I definitely liked the illustrations, which were fuzzy around the edges like a dream and filled with fantastic images. There really wasn't a plot; it seemed to be more of an attempt by the author to create a story within a story or a book within a book, to make the reader feel like they're part of the story. It didn't quite work for me. I can see that it might appeal to children who like fantasy and fairy tales.
Amy Lindsay
the story and illustrations are grasping way too hard, trying desperately to hold, illuminate and share the sweet magic of childhood...

it's like you're being conked on the head with a long, heartfelt *sigh*


imagination ought not be so silky and powdery and never so listlessly packaged.
Marjorie Ingall
Wanted to love it. Didn't. The text was un-involving; the art, while beautiful, was just too achingly self-consciously, otherworldly, whispery woo-woo for me. I wasn't engaged. I'll see if my 7-year-old or 4-year-old loves it, but I'm gonna guess no.
Very sweet - my daughter would have insisted on her picture being put in the book Right Now. Possibly a hair creepy, from an adult-who-reads-Gaiman perspective. The illustrations are lovely, but I can see them being scary in the dark.
Lovely, odd. I couldn't decide if I found it mysterious, surreal, or just ... weird.
Michelle McBeth
This is a story about a tiny girl who lives in a castle inside a globe that resides in a museum. It is about the girl and her life. Mostly she is lonely. This story feels like a cross between a fairy tale and a faerie story.

The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous which is what makes the book so special. They have a vintage feel to them. There is no actual story line.

The story is a sad one. This book is recommended for ages 4-8. I think the maturity of it would lend it better for older childre
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 childr
I originally picked this up because I enjoy stories in museums and also because of the artwork. I honestly gave this three stars because I really liked the illustrations, which are done in acrylic paint, clay models, photography and digital media. The story, however, left a lot to be desired, as there really wasn't much of one. It's almost like the author was trying to hard to draw the audience into the story, probably because she is used to writing for adults and this is her first children's bo ...more
The Girl Inside the Castle Inside the Museum was a library find, quickly ordered for our daughter's own collection. The illustrations are magical and, while the easy to follow storyline will certainly engage little ones from birth to five, it's especially welcome for a child who has difficulty processing language. While C can appreciate more intricate tales, this book is more of a coming home, a fitting respite when she needs a break from the world, and a favorite bedtime story.
La Coccinelle
I was just browsing through the local library's collection of e-books and the cover of this one caught my eye.

The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. I barely read the words as I flipped from one gossamer-like painting to the next. They're beautiful little works of art that I can easily imagine as framed prints on the wall of a little girl's bedroom.

Unfortunately, the story is rather lacking. I got the feeling that someone really liked a bunch of existing illustrations, and so hired a writer
Beautiful picture book with exquisite illustrations - and a place to personalize the story by adding a photo of a child to one of the pages. A story that will surely spark the imagination of our young readers who might begin wondering who lives, hidden from most eyes, in other places they see in their world. The story lends itself also well as a read-aloud to initiate a conversation about perspective.
Both the art and the subject matter are a little creepy, which I think is a selling point, but might upset some kids. The story deals with loneliness without a strong resolution, so I would avoid reading this to sensitive kids. The illustrations are captivating though, with lots of details.
Not a bad book but it's a little creepy, and the illustrations are creepier still. If that's your thing you might enjoy it, but it's certainly not for really little ones.
I'd been eager to see this book for some time, because I loved the idea of it. Now that I've finally read it, I just can't decide what I think. It is enchanting, lovely, strange- all good things. The writing and illustrations are beautiful, but also sort of eerie, or creepy, take your pick. There is something about details like "real" hands being inserted (seamlessly) into digitally painted, blurred, ethereal bodies that I find both fascinating and a bit disturbing. I think this is absolutely a ...more
*cues Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me" on the iPod*


So, uh, yeah...this book.

I'm not sure what I think about this book. The illustrations are absolutely stunning, so there's that. It's a children's book but I can't imagining children enjoying the story. It's a melancholy story about loneliness...with a kinda-really-creepy ending.

I think I'm going to file this in my brain under "short stories for adults".
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Kate Bernheimer is the author of three novels and the story collection Horse, Flower, Bird, as well as children's books. Among other books, she edited the World Fantasy Award winning My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales and the forthcoming xo Orpheus: 50 New Myths.
More about Kate Bernheimer...

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