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Behind the Canvas

There is a world behind the canvas. Past the flat façade and the crackling paint is a realm where art lives, breathes, creates, and destroys. It is stitched together from every painting ever created by the artistic hand—the madness of van Gogh, the genius of Leonardo, and the prolific puzzles of Picasso. It is a place rich with beauty and inspiration, and where the darkest and most dangerous creations of the human mind roam free.


Claudia Miravista loves art but only sees what is on the surface—until the Dutch boy Pim appears in her painting. Pim has been trapped in the world behind the canvas for centuries by a power-hungry witch, and now believes 




PUBLICATION DATE: February 23, 2016

PUBLISHER: Feiwel and Friends (Macmillan)



that Claudia is his only hope for escape. Fueled by the help of an ancient artist and some microwaveable magic, Claudia enters the wondrous and terrifying world behind the canvas, intent on destroying the witch’s most cherished possession and setting her new friend free. But in that world nothing is quite as it appears on the surface. Not even friendship.



Do you have a favorite painting? No, that poster of Taylor Swift on your bedroom wall doesn't count. A real painting, with brushstrokes and texture and maybe even a frame. Have you at least been to an art museum? 


You should go. Don't worry, it's not dangerous.


Most of the time...



"This well-paced mystery offers a pleasing protagonist and a very unusual setting. Vance cleverly injects the story with a bevy of secondary characters, many of whom readers will recognize from European paintings and popular art, and humorous footnotes from a fictional art-history textbook balance the tension. Themes of trust and loyalty figure prominently in this story, which explores what it means to be a true friend."


School Library Journal:

"Readers will end up learning a great deal about art history along the way . . . an inspired concept."



"Plenty of vivid, painterly action scenes carry the day." 


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