About the Holiday
International Museum day was created in 1977 by the International Council of Museums to raise awareness that “museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.” The theme for this year is Museums and Cultural Landscapes. Both nature and history comprise the cultural landscape that links museums to their surrounding neighborhood, towns, and beyond. As museums become more involved in their communities, they acquire the responsibility to protect, conserve, and interpret the cultural heritage inside and outside their walls. International Museum Day is growing—in 2015 more than 35,000 museums in 145 countries participated. Today visit one of your favorite museums and learn more about your cultural landscape.
Homer Henry Hudson’s Curio Museum
By Zack Rock
Everything has a story, the narrator tells readers, especially the Homer Henry Hudson Curio Museum, which he says has been described as “a colossal collection of curios, discovered, described, and displayed by that eccentric explorer extraordinaire: Homer Henry Hudson.”
Come in and experience the wonders inside. A dignified bulldog dressed in a dapper tweed suit and leaning on a crooked cane will greet you. His job is to keep the place clean and dusted. Although the museum is stuffed floor to ceiling, he knows the placement of every object, knick-knack, and curiosity. As you explore the museum’s holdings—its portraits, musical instruments, ancient artifacts, taxidermy animals, and other treasures, the caretaker sits silently, hoping you will read the display cards that Homer Henry Hudson has lovingly written out with a description and personal note. He even has his favorite “bits and bobs” that he would like you to see.
One of these is Item #0001, the Conausaurus Skull of a small dinosaur from the late Jurassic Period that HHH found in the soil of his family’s farm. This bony discovery made Homer Henry wonder what else the world held and sparked his love of exploration. Another is Item #0023, a Radial Tide Diviner once used by Calypsonian seers to predict the future based on tidal patterns. It was the discovery of the lost Calypsonian civilization with its valuable artifacts that funded Homer’s further explorations.
Item #3412, a Temple Montepaz Choir Finch with a C sharp trill that chanted to accompany the parrot priest, was a most unusual gift, bestowed on HHH for convincing the Parrot Priest to release a piece of wood stripped from the temple wall. This shard turned out to lead Homer Henry Hudson into his future—for better or worse. With renewed fire, HHH charged toward the promise of riches only to fly his plane into a mammoth stone figurehead, which resulted in injury and his life-long limp.
Item #3415, The Manneken Mort of King Ingmar, is perhaps Homer Henry’s most treasured possession. Composed of fabric bands that represent the stories friends and family tell when someone dies, this Manneken Mort contains hundreds of bands relating the life of King Ingmar. This object HHH acquired for bravery and self-sacrifice when he was younger and still full of enthusiasm for life.
The old bulldog thinks of this curio most. He wonders what his Manneken will look like and whether all the bands of his life been woven. He likes to think his Menneken Mort “would be hundreds—thousands—of feet tall. It’d tower over the Taj Mahal, shame the Sphinx!” But he knows “few memorable tales are told of rusty old codgers who spent their days…leaning upon fear like a crutch.”
Though blind in one eye and nagged by trepidation, the old bulldog packs his suitcase, dons his hat and throws away his cane. As he walks out the door, past pictures of himself on his early expeditions of discover, he knows he might “meet with catastrophe,” be “swallowed by quicksand,” or “gnawed on by piranhas.” But he also knows “there’s no success without failures,” and he has had many successes.
Homer Henry Hudson boards the cruise liner Phoenix and sets out for adventure once more. After all, he well knows that everything has a story. So if you come by the Homer Henry Hudson Museum today, you will see a sign hanging on the door: The Curio Museum is CLOSED Until Further Notice.
Zack Rock has written a compelling and unique picture book for adventurers of all types and ages. Part motivation and part cautionary tale, this story of the once intrepid explorer turned tremulous caretaker has a mysterious, treasure-around-every-corner quality that will appeal to kids. The life of Homer Henry Hudson is told through the display cards that accompany some of the museum’s curios. As the story develops through the cards’ personal notes, readers learn of the museum’s true owner and the life-altering decision he makes.
Rock’s illustrations in greens and parchment-paper golds and browns have a high “Oh, Cool!” factor, as the odd, ancient, and unusual objects of the museum invite kids to explore every nook and cranny of the pages. The exhibits serve not only to fill the museum, however, they remind us how easily the future can get overshadowed and crowded out by the past.
Ages 6 – 10
Creative Editions, 2014 | ISBN 978-1568462608
International Museum Day Activity
Peanut Butter-M&M Cookies
A good cookie is like a museum—full of interesting flavors, colors, and taste. Here’s a cookie recipe adapted from Cookies & Cups that exhibits all these traits!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 whole egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 3/4 cups m&ms
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips (for extra chocolate)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- Combine butter and peanut butter in microwave safe bowl and melt together for 30 seconds. Remove and stir. Continue in 15-second increments until mixture is melted and smooth.
- In a separate large bowl whisk together flour and baking soda. Set aside.
- Combine eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and sugar. Mix on medium until combined and smooth. Turn mixer to low and slowly pour in your butter/peanut butter mixture. Continue stirring until combined.
- With mixer still on low, gradually add your flour mixture until just combined. Batter will be thick.
- Now add in your candies and stir until they are evenly distributed.
- Now form your batter into “golf ball” sized dough balls. You can also use a 3-Tablespoon scooper.
- Place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes
- Cookies will be puffy, but should be golden around the edges
- Let cool on baking sheet for 2 -3 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.
Cookies & Cups has lots of creative and delicious goodies for special occasions or for just those times when you want to be good to yourself!
Picture Book Review