Many of the children’s books about museums are focused either on art museums (paintings and sculptures) or natural history museums (dinosaurs). Maisy Goes to the Museum, an introductory book by Lucy Cousins, is a sampler of all the things you might find in a museum!
Maisy, a curious little mouse, and her animal friends are going to visit the museum because it is a rainy day. Once inside, they discover many interesting things to keep them occupied. Each character finds something special to explore.
The group begins their museum visit at the T-rex exhibit. Then each character branches out alone or in a small group to other areas of the museum. Charley the alligator looks at the vintage car, a high wheeler bicycle, and a double-decker bus. A minor concern on this page is the fact that Charley is shown actually sitting inside the automobile, which is not allowed in a real museum.
Maisy and a few of her friends find the aeronautics section, where they look at an airplane, a satellite, and a rocket. In the history area of the museum, Tallulah the duck looks at old toys, and finds herself fascinated by a dollhouse.
Maisy and her friends explore different parts of the natural history section, which includes a variety of birds, bugs, and a wooly mammoth, which mesmerizes Eddie the elephant!
Before visiting the Museum Café for some sandwiches and juice, Maisy demonstrates all the fun activities you can participate in at a museum, like drawing, playing with puppets, making music, and dressing up in the costume room. While many museums do offer these kinds of experiences, if you are reading this book as a pre-visit activity with a child, you might want to make sure the museum does have hands-on activities so he or she isn’t disappointed!
The illustrations are very simple, and the font (named for the author) is large, bold, and kid-friendly. Each page is very colorful, which will engage young readers.
Very young children will need some of the words in this book defined for them, such as fossilized, biplane, saber-toothed cat.
The best part about Maisy Goes to the Museum is that it makes visiting a museum look like fun! It is up to parents and teachers to make sure kids visit museums with their families or on field trips, so that future generations can continue to learn about the past in a fun, engaging way.
(My nephew just turned two and I ordered this book for him so he can start learning about what Aunt Kim does for a living!)