Hartland, J. (2010). How the sphinx got to the museum. Maplewood, NJ: Blue Apple Books. ISBN: 9781609050320
Annotation: This is the story of how a sphinx commissioned by Hatshepsut, a female pharaoh, traveled from ancient Egypt to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Reaction: Like The House That George Built, Hartland frames this books around the “house that Jack built” structure and provides the reader with a look into how much effort goes into acquiring and preparing pieces for the Museum. A piece like the sphinx is eye catching and unique, so it is cool to read about it’s history, and learning that the statue was originally commissioned by a female pharaoh is delightful.
The art is cartoony and full of bright colors. Careful readers will notice how Hartland gives the sphinx different facial expressions in each picture (it took me two readings to catch that). The illustrations depicting the various stages of in this sphinx’s life, make this book a fun read.
This book is on the 2011 Students’ List for “Books receiving votes for Top Ten Favorites from students in Summer 2011.”
Media Used: Gouache.