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Behind The Canvas by Alexander Vance

Claudia was okay with being alone, but if you were alone too often, well then you start to get lonely. The story starts off with her on a school trip to the museum. She loves paintings. She loves art. She could immerse herself all day in art. But her aloofness can be a problem as kids may see her as odd, and once again at the museum she finds herself without a partner to work on the class project.

The problem wasn't that she didn't like people. The issue was knowing what to say or not and her mind would go completely blank, seizing her tongue and ultimately having her sound like "a caveman with a stutter". She was constantly worried that people would think she was a complete loser. 

But then, she meets a friend. Well, sort of a friend, as he lives in the world of oil and canvas. Yes, suddenly Claudia finds herself in a world where paintings come to life. She discovers that her friend Pim has been trapped in a painting for hundreds of years by a power-hungry witch. 

As Claudia is getting used to having a friend she finds herself with a dilemma. Will she do anything for her friend including risk her own life to save him? With the help of Granny Custos, she must travel through the two dimensions to find Nee Gezicht. This involves going to the Chicago Art Institute to find a painting that will get her closer to the witch. 

Art lovers will delight in this book. Author Alexander Vance (Twitter:@AVance_author) takes the reader through a frenetic and fact filled journey through art history, ranging from the Flemish Baroque to Dada and surrealism and lots of other stuff in between. It is a clever way for kids to learn about artists like Salvador Dali, Peter Paul Rubens, Max Ernst, and many others for that learning is mixed with some innocent frivolity to make it fun rather than turgid. 

Behind The Canvas is a book that schools will want to pick up for their libraries as it is loaded with entertainment and education. 

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