Drumroll please . . .
5. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (overnight sleepover!), From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E.
Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
If I got to pick one place in the entire universe to reside in for the rest of my life, I’d be merrily imprisoned in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. This place simply rocks. It’s one of the few buildings in the world that could claim an Egyptian temple, a hall full of medieval battle armor, and French Rococo living rooms with fancy jewel-encrusted tea sets, all under one roof.
Although normal visiting hours are 9-5, the sleuths from The Mixed-Up-Files mystery get to use this world-class museum as a runaway hideout. Oh what I would give to have a sleepover here. My pals and I would dress up in original Chanel suit and don samurai swords as we played rare musical instruments on the rooftop overlooking Central Park. And we’d solve mysteries too.
4. The Van Gogh Cafe of The Van Gogh Café by Cynthia Rylant
Off the I-70 in Flowers, Kansas, there exists a quaint cafe that feels like home to anyone who walks in its doors. And guess what — the building is saturated in MAGIC. This results in fabulous other-worldly food, cross-species animal romance, and the occasional movie star. Think of the setting as sci-fi paranormal meets your local petting zoo, meets great breakfast. This is just the kind of magical place for a gal like me who requires a certain level of comfort and a constantly satisfied appetite.
3. Philip Pullman’s universe in The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
I just really want a daemon. I would like mine to shift between a panda and a killer whale, but knowing my luck it’ll settle down as a blind mole. I’d also like to hang out with some talking ice bears.
2. The fifth dimension, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
In L’Engle’s sci-fi classic, time — the fourth dimension — is just another spatial direction. We 3-dimensional creatures move back and forth, up and down, left and right. Four-dimensional folks get backwards and forwards in time. Fifth-dimensional creatures, like those in A Wrinkle in Time, do some crazy time traveling and then some, and frankly I get a little motion-sick trying to imagine it.
1. A Stevie Wonder song, Little Stevie Wonder by Quincy Troupe, illustrated by Lisa Cohen
Ok, so a song isn’t technically a setting, but one can dream, right? To live inside the pages of this book would be one trippy geometric funk show. Technically, this is a kids picture book, but it’s a great book for a music fans of all ages. This is my favorite so far of a musical picture book genre
(see When Marian Sang, Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra, and Dizzy). It combines eye candy with auditory sensations that make you feel like you can practically taste the music, and moves your emotions like only a good song can. Try drawing your favorite song!
These are some of my favorite settings I’d like to visit. To what books would you like to travel?
— Cindy, Scholastic Staffer