Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum by Kate Bernheimer, Illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli

The Girl in the Castle Inside the Museum by Kate Bernheimer, Illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (February 12, 2008)

This is a picture book unlike any book I've ever read. The premise is that there is a girl who lives in a castle inside a museum. The castle is encased in a glass globe, and when children come to the musem, they press their noses against the glass globe and get a glimpse of the girl in the castle. When the children leave at night, she gets lonely even though she is surrounded by beautiful things. At night she dreams of children her own size visiting her, and "sometimes the girl in the castle even dreams about you." Her solution for overcoming her loneliness is to hang a picture of you, the reader, on the wall beside her bed. The last line of the book, "Do you see her? She sees you." EEEK!

Jen Robinson sums it up the best when she says the book is "deliciously creepy." I really like it because it is different, and has an ethereal, dream-like aura that takes me to another world. Nicoletta Ceccoli's soft clay model, acrylic, and digital media illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, and in fact, they are the most beautiful illustrations I've seen in a picture book yet. They, along with the story, will captivate the reader.

Kate Bernheimer has hit a home run with her first children's book, and I will definitely look for more from her in future. I think many kids will love it, but I would be wary of reading it to smaller kids who may be a little frightened at the thought of the girl watching them. However, some kids totally eat stuff like this up, so I'll leave it up to you to decide whether or not it's the right choice for your child.

Other Blog Reviews:
Jen Robinson's Book Page
Book Buds KidLit Reviews


  1. It is definitely captivating. I'm glad that you liked it.

  2. I can't wait to read this book. I'm a big fan of Nicoletta Ceccoli's, and I've recently become interested in Kate Bernheimer, so this book is the perfect combination for me.

  3. Nymeth,
    Nicoletta Ceccoli's illustrations are breathtaking. I think you will definitely love this book.