Dorothy & Herbert: An Ordinary Couple and Their Extraordinary Collection of Art

Cameron Kids. Oct. 2021. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781951836214.
Gr 2-5–What an odd and enchanting book! For serious students of art or for children who love to pore over “I Spy” pages, these eccentric spreads will fill them with joy. In this true story, Herbert is a postal clerk who rushes off to art class each night. Dorothy works at the Brooklyn Public Library, and she, too, rushes off to class. These two aspiring artists marry and become convinced, over years, that they are meant to be collectors of art. Their lifelong avocation results in over 2,000 works they eventually donate to the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. Along the way, they mingle with big names and up and comers, from Christo to Chuck Close, and fill a tiny apartment to bursting. Kramer’s well-paced text abbreviates huge passages of time, yet the mood is one of merry discovery, and readers will be glad to be along for the ride. The illustrations are full of art world faces (Breckenreid’s website breaks it down for those interested) but also small puzzles, art references, and little clues as to what will come next.
VERDICT An eccentric tumble down an unexpectedly accessible bio of two fans who made their passion into a way of life, and just the kind of adventure that many children will find inspiring.

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