Book Review: Noonie’s Masterpiece by Lisa Railsback

Noonie's Masterpiece imageNoonie is sure that she will someday be a famous artist. She knows many well-known artists go through periods where they focus on color, and she herself has been through a blue period. This came after her mom died while she was in kindergarten and her dad’s job as an archeologist took him to locations around the world while she stayed home with her Aunt Sophie, Uncle Ralph, and her younger cousin Junior.

Now Noonie is in her purple period, and she’s sure her latest efforts will make her famous. Noonie’s Masterpiece by Lisa Railsback with art by Sarajo Frieden is a delightful book about what makes a family. Noonie gets into lots of trouble as she dismisses everything in her life except her art. Her creativity is spent trying to coax her dad back home and trying to avoid math.

Noonie is always looking through her book of masterpieces, and as she talks about famous artists in recent history, the reader learns about them too. Mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 7 through 12 could have a lot of fun finding photos of the famous pieces of art Noonie talks about and discussing why they may be considered great. Other topics to discuss include how art fits with more traditional school subjects like math and literature, coping with the loss of a parent, and finding what’s special inside each of us. The illustrations are fun to look at, too, and they help make Noonie’s Masterpiece a great book for younger girls looking for a step up from an early reader chapter book. Additional resources, including a discussion guide, a chapter excerpt and a video can be found at

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