Masterpiece Mix by Roxie Munro
I first met Roxie Munro in 2014 when she presented her forthcoming book Market Maze to a group of librarians. In her introductory remarks she used a term that was unfamiliar to me: gamification. The word intrigued me. I hastily scribbled it down on in my notes, determined to learn more about the concept: "the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts." *
The genius of Munro's work lies in her ability to create a story, add a game element, and then take the book one step farther, creating layers of visual complexity within a picture book format.
Munro wants to paint what she loves: her neighborhood. So she moves beyond the walls of the National Gallery and sets this book in her own community. With the accomplished strokes of the artist's brush, she brings this masterpiece into her own environment. That's where the gamification commences. Her neighborhood becomes a repository for these masterpiece images. Readers will enjoy locating the art reproductions, referring back to the pages on which each is introduced and then, observing the clever placement of each classic showpiece within the neighborhood. For example, Cassatt's sketch of mother and child is located at the Day Care Center, The Degas sculpture of a ballerina is found in front of the Dance Studio.
A map key with corresponding images and descriptions of the art is located on the back pages.
It's art. It's educational. It invites discovery and exploration. It encourages creation. It's gamification. It's brilliant!