Cover image for Imagine! / Raúl Colón.
Imagine! / Raúl Colón.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, [2018]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : colour illustrations ; 30 cm
General Note:
"A Paula Wiseman Book."
"When a boy visits an art museum and one of the paintings comes to life, he has an afternoon of adventure and discovery [that] changes how he sees the world ever after"-- Provided by publisher.
Audience/Reading Level:
Interest age level: 4-8.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
COL Book Easy Collection

On Order



"This fine book provides not only exposure to art...but also an example of a boy--a boy of color, a boy in America--with a passion for fine art." -- The New York Times

"The prosaic world of the city boy we transformed into a realm of wonder not by a quirk of quantum physics but by exposure to fine art." -- The Wall Street Journal

" A joyful, wordless exploration of artistic discovery." -- Shelf Awareness (starred review)

"Colon's latest again challenges readers to discover inspiration through ingenious means...beautifully euphoric." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Captures the drama of a personal artistic experience and the lasting impact it can irresistible invitation to creativity." -- School Library Journal (starred review)


Five starred reviews for New York Times bestselling artist Raúl Colón's wordless picture book about a visit to the museum and the power of art and imagination, which "hums with and jubilation" ( The Horn Book , starred review).

After passing a city museum many times, a boy finally decides to go in. He passes wall after wall of artwork until he sees a painting that makes him stop and ponder. Before long the painting comes to life and an afternoon of adventure and discovery unfolds, changing how he sees the world ever after.

Author Notes

Raúl Colón has illustrated several highly acclaimed picture books, including Draw! ; the New York Times bestselling Angela and the Baby Jesus by Frank McCourt; Susanna Reich's José! Born to Dance ; and Jill Biden's Don't Forget, God Bless Our Troops . Mr. Colón lived in Puerto Rico as a young boy and now resides in New City, New York, with his family.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Though Colón (Draw!) grew up in New York City, he didn't visit the city's art museums until he was an adult. The powerful idea of encountering original modern masterworks as a child, his author's note says, inspired this wordless fantasy. Using the deeply saturated hues and combed textures of his signature style, the artist draws a brown-skinned boy hopping onto his skateboard, sailing across the Brooklyn Bridge, and heading into the Museum of Modern Art, checking his helmet and board at the entrance. Inside, he encounters Rousseau's The Sleeping Gypsy, Picasso's Three Musicians, and Matisse's Icarus. He's awed by the paintings-Colón draws him with his hands clasped behind his head-and is overjoyed when the figures burst from their frames. After dancing with the boy out onto the street, they tour famous New York landmarks together-fast-moving stills show the figures in improbable N.Y.C. settings with humorous believability-before returning to the museum. Back in Brooklyn, the figures remain in the boy's mind, and he creates some magnificent art of his own. Colón's vibrant scenes make it clear that visiting works of art can breathe magic into the everyday and inspire further creativity afterward. Ages 4-8. Agent: Gail Morgan, Morgan Gaynin Agency. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

A boy leaves a row house with his skateboard and rides through his neighborhood; readers can almost immediately orient themselves as he crosses the Brooklyn Bridge and arrives at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. From here Colns latest wordless picture book (Draw!, rev. 9/14) becomes a love letter to the experience of visiting an art museum: as the (brown-skinned) boy marvels at Matisses Icarus (identified in an authors note), the cutout figure peels itself from the painting to dance with him, its lithe limbs swaying with movement over the next several pages. Theyre joined by the trio from Picassos Three Musicians, then by the lion and just-awakened woman from Rousseaus The Sleeping Gypsy (these three works all capably mimicked by Coln). Rendered in watercolors and Prismacolor- and lithograph pencils, with his signature stippled and crosshatched textures, Colns illustrations hum with energy and jubilation as the characters cavort through NYC, ride the Coney Island Cyclone, play music in Central Park, etc. The boys new friends return to their canvases, but when he gets back to his neighborhood, he copies their likenesses onto a blank wall, creating a mural, and dreams of them at night. In the appended note, Coln informs readers that he never visited an art museum until he was an adult. Imagine! is his entreaty to expose children to art: Maybe their minds will explode and fireworks will go off and floodgates will openImagine that! katrina Hedeen (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

New York Review of Books Review

HOW FASCISM WORKS: The Politics of Us and Them, by Jason Stanley. (Random House, $26.) Looking across decades, Stanley argues that Donald Trump resembles other authoritarian nationalists, and places him in global and historical perspective to show patterns that others have missed. LEADERSHIP: In Turbulent Times, by Doris Kearns Goodwin. (Simon & Schuster, $30.) Four exceptional presidents - Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson - give Goodwin the opportunity to offer moral instruction for future leaders. THESE TRUTHS: A History of the United States, by Jill Lepore. (Norton, $39.95.) This sweeping, sobering account of the American past is a story not of relentless progress but of conflict and contradiction, with crosscurrents of reason and faith, black and white, immigrant and native, industry and agriculture rippling through a narrative that is far from completion. PALACES FOR THE PEOPLE: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life, by Eric Klinenberg. (Crown, $28.) Klinenberg, an N.Y.U. sociologist, argues for the importance of social infrastructure - public spaces to bring citizens together, whether a library or a park. THE IMPROBABLE WENDELL WILLKIE: The Businessman Who Saved the Republican Party and His Country, and Conceived a New World Order, by David Levering Lewis. (Liveright, $28.95.) Willkie is hardly remembered today, but Lewis shows us that as a presidential candidate in 1940, he played an outsize role in fighting off isolationism and uniting the country. HEARTLAND: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, by Sarah Smarsh. (Scribner, $26.) Smarsh, who grew up poor in a Kansas farm family with generations of teenage mothers, addresses this memoir to the imaginary daughter who drove her to transcend her circumstances. IMAGINE, by Juan Felipe Herrera. Illustrated by Lauren Castillo. (Candlewick, $16.99; ages 4 to 8.) The former poet laureate relates his inspiring path from rural Mexico to august Washington in spare lines accompanied by Castillo's pitch-perfect illustration. IMAGINE!, written and illustrated by Raúl Colón. (Paula Wiseman/ Simon & Schuster, $17.99; ages 4 to 8.) This follow-up to Colon's "Draw!" continues the gorgeous wordless story of a boy's artistic passion as he crosses the Brooklyn Bridge to get to the Museum of Modern Art, where the paintings come to life to encourage him. DREAMERS, written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales. (Neal Porter/ Holiday House, $16.99; ages 4 to 8.) In lyrical prose and striking art, Morales recounts the difficulty of being a new immigrant and the wondrous welcome of a public library. The full reviews of these and other recent books are on the web: