Young Charlotte, Filmmaker

40p. Museum of Modern Art. 2015. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9780870709500.
Gr 1–3—This follow-up to Viva's Young Frank, Architect (MoMA, 2013) enters the funky world of a young filmmaker named Charlotte, who loves black-and-white movies and filming her cat. When she meets Scarlet, the film curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, she learns that the woman loves black-and-white films, too, because "it clears away the clutter." Scarlet loves Charlotte's film so much that she screens it at MoMA, where there are "hordes of colorful people" who at first seem to disapprove of her work, but Charlotte's film wins them over. Charlotte wonders if she should be more colorful, but then everyone encourages her to stay black and white. The tale has a clear lesson—stick to your artistic guns!—and Viva doesn't shy away from honoring creativity and unique perspectives. New York's signage creates engaging backgrounds, as do the speech bubbles with Viva's trademark typography. The collage-style images go beyond just black and white with the addition of taupe, as well as mustard, coral, olive green, and French blue; they call to mind Maira Kalman's work in the odd details and the surprising shapes of the characters, whose hands and hair mirror Matisse cut-outs (a recent exhibit at MoMA). This is a beautiful picture book for a museum gift shop, and one that young artists (or artistic-minded parents) will appreciate.
VERDICT A quirky choice, especially for those looking for books about creativity and artistic choice.

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