October 17, 2018


By Jonah Lehrer
Raúl Colón's new picture book, Imagine!, is a reverent, playful tribute to the power of imagination and art.
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While skateboarding through New York City, a boy pauses at the Museum of Modern Art and decides to head inside. Suddenly, his imagination kicks into gear: Figures from three legendary paintings step through their canvases to join him—the cubist figures from Picasso’s “Three Musicians,” the woman and lion from Rousseau’s “The Sleeping Gypsy,” and the abstract expressionistic body from Matisse’s “Icarus.” As a group, they leave the museum and roam the streets of the city, making memories at iconic stops like the Statue of Liberty’s crown. After the boy returns to the museum to say goodbye to his new friends, he stops to paint his own memories of the day on a building wall.

In a closing note for Imagine!, author and illustrator Raúl Colón writes about his experience growing up in New York without ever visiting the museums. (“My hardworking parents were taking care of many important issues to help keep the family above water and my fragile health in check.”) What, he wonders, would his life have been like if he’d seen such works of art when he was younger? This inviting, well-paced wordless story, rendered in Colón’s signature, highly textured watercolor and colored pencil illustrations, is his answer to that question. The boy’s adventure, springing from the deep wells of his imagination, is nearly breathless, and the story as a whole is truly inspiring.

A reverent, playful tribute to the power of imagination and art.

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By Jonah Lehrer
ISBN 9780547386072

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