You Can’t Take a Balloon into the Museum of Fine Artsby Jacqueline Preiss Weitzmann and Robin Preiss Glasser was published in 2002. It is a wordless story of the adventures of two children and their grandparents and is a great tour of the city.
As the story starts off, the little girl can’t take her green balloon into the museum, so her grandmother offers to hold it while the others go inside. Unfortunately, before the children even get into the museum, the balloon escapes and grandma desperately chases it, hoping to get it back before her granddaughter finds out. Grandma quickly flags down a passing motorcyclist and chases the balloon through the city streets with her antics mirroring the images in the paintings the children see in the museum. The balloon floats into the Boston Public Library (this link includes a list of current activities for children) then on into the public gardens, onto the Boston common, through Boston’s Chinatown and to the wharf and a reenactment of the Boston Tea Party. The balloon continues to elude Grandma as the crowd follows it to Quincy market, past the old North Church, Comcast Amphitheater and on into Fenway Park where the balloon gets tangled into a baseball and hit back to the Museum of Fine Arts. At each stop Grandma collects another passerby, all of whom resemble subjects in the pictures the children have been viewing. This is an entertaining tour of the city and a reminder that art can resemble life.