Musnet: The Mouse of Money
Author and Illustrator: K. Kickliy
Published August 2nd, 2016 by ODOD Books
Summary: Musnet: The Mouse of Monet is a delightful new children’s graphic novel by Kickliy, set in Giverny, France in the mid 19th Century. The eponymous boy mouse travels the countryside searching for work and happens upon Monet’s garden. There, he takes a job with a brilliant squirrel artist, and in the process is inspired to paint as well. Will Musnet commit to painting in the classical manner, or in the thrilling new style of the human impressionists? Which way will his brush sway?
Set in the midst of one of the great moments in the history of art, Musnet is a bildungsroman of an aspiring young artist, a mouse with his eye on the new impressionistic style that was taking the world by storm. Kickliy’s fluid ink and watercolors evoke the magic of the period and a French countryside just bursting with color. And Musnet and Monet’s paintings within this story are actually mini-oil paintings of Kickliy’s.
The first in a series, Musnet: the Mouse of Monet is the mysterious artist Kickliy’s first foray into the world of children’s literature, and will include a traveling gallery showing of the art within the book itself. Uncivilized Books is proud to launch its new children’s imprint, Odod Books, with this brilliant examination of impressionism and the artistic urge that will enrapture children of all ages.
Review: I love when books include art history in them because it makes me feel at home since I grew up in art museums as a museum director’s daughter. Musnet is no different. As soon as I realized that Musnet had ended up in Monet’s famous garden, I was fascinated with Musnet’s story and his journey to becoming an artist. Kickliy’s artwork pays perfect homage to Monet’s work and is a beautiful backdrop to Musnet’s story. I look forward to reading the second in the series.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Musnet’s story would be a perfect book to incorporate in a art classroom. Throughout art education, different famous artists are studied, and while studying Monet, I could definitely see the teacher using this text as a read aloud and a discussion starter (see discussion questions below).
Discussion Questions: Why would the author choose Monet as the artist for Musnet to find?; How is Kickliy’s art similar to Monet’s?; Do you think Musnet has found his forever home? Explain.
Read This If You Loved: Mira’s Diary by Marissa Moss, The Museum by Susan Verde, Babymouse series by Jennifer and Matthew Holm, The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo, Redwall by Brian Jacques
**Thank you Uncivilized Books for providing a copy for review!**