When I saw this at the library the other day in the children’s section I had to read it. The premise of the story is that two children are visiting the Art Institute of Chicago and looking at the collection of miniature rooms-the Thorne Rooms. These rooms are miniature replicas of rooms throughout history from all over the world. They find a key which shrinks them to a mere 5 inches high-the perfect size to explore these rooms and the magic within them. When I read that I immediately thought of both From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and the little miniature rooms at the Carnegie Museum of Art. I went to library school at the University of Pittsburgh and spent many happy hours exploring and relaxing in the art museum and the natural history museum. In the art museum there was a room that had little rooms-just like the ones in this book! I loved looking at them and imagining myself in them-I found them completely enchanting. And here’s this book which is basically all about getting to poke around in them! By the way, I wanted to link to the Carnegie’s rooms but I can’t actually find anything on their website, though if you google “Carnegie Museum of Art miniature rooms” you’ll find plenty or images and references to them.
I found this book perfect-it told a story that is exactly the sort of thing I like to imagine and if this book had been around when I was a kid I would have been thrilled. I’ve put myself on hold for the sequel and let’s hope I remember to tell my kids about it when they are older.