Tuesday, December 2, 2008


You may know this book by Lena Anderson and Christina Bjork (I didn’t), but if not, it’s a charming story of a young girl who is enamored of Claude Monet’s garden paintings after learning about them from her elderly neighbor, Mr. Bloom, and his picture books. It’s a short animated movie, only about 30 minutes, and it’s a gentle and sweet story that could well serve as an introduction to art for younger kids. Watching Linnea make the connection between what she sees first in books, and then the museum, and then in real life, visiting the artist’s garden and home, keeps the idea simple and easy to grasp.

The animation is beautiful, with a magical weaving of Monet paintings and old photographs into the lovely art by Anderson, and the quiet tone and easy pace reminds me of the feel of "Little Bear" cartoons, which always seemed so soothing and calming. K is too old for this now, but I would imagine that even as a super-wired little boy, he would have been captivated and enjoyed the story.

If you’re lucky enough to be planning a trip to Paris in the future, with kids, this is also a wonderful way to introduce them to the world’s most divine city. The depiction of Linnea’s and Mr. Bloom’s hotel in Paris, with its creaky old staircase and the rooms’ tall windows, opening out onto a tiny balcony, makes clear the difference between, say, a Disneyland hotel and a two-hundred year old building on a cobblestone street in Paris.

This little film might have you calling a travel agent the minute it’s over. Who needs a college fund, anyway? There’s always the Lotto.

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