Book Review: Platt and Sardo’s Andrew & Ana: A Day at the Museum
By: Anita Benson
May 18th 2022
Siblings enjoy a meaningful day and family fun at the new National Museum of African American History and Culture: a book about what museums can do to and for us.
Availability The book is part of a series in which Ana and Andrew encounter the world. This book is available at Lund City Library in English; Other Ana and Andrew books are available at various libraries in the area. The best way to find them is by searching for the author Christine Platt.
Ana and Andrew get a surprise visit from their grandmother. She has traveled far in order to see the newly opened museum with her family. We follow the children as they learn about the content and meaning of the museum with the help of a tour guide and their family. The story ends with them reflecting together over ice-cream about the museum and what the visit meant to them.
The images are produced on a digital drawing device, with bold colors and clear contours; but a crayon effect makes the images appear smoother and gentler than they might have done. Face expressions could be a bit more varied. But the events in the story driving excitement, joy, and awe, and the dialogues as well as the body language of the figures towards each other are clearly emotionally meaningful.
What interested me particularly in this story was that the museum was of such great importance for the adults, and that they shared this with Ana and Andrew. This is not a book about kid power without connection to adults; it is, however, very much about cultural power and significance. The book addresses issues specific to Black Americans without the children being made to be Black for that purpose. I am referring to the problem of using certain groups to represent specific issues, when the norm excludes that group.