The Thorne Miniature Rooms are one of the Art Institute of Chicago’s most beloved exhibits: 68 miniature detailed representations of rooms that might have existed in Europe and America over some six centuries.
They inspired author Marianne Malone of Urbana to write a series of children’s books aptly named “The Sixty-Eight Rooms.” The latest in the series, “The Pirate’s Coin,” is released in paperback Tuesday.
The books feature Ruthie and Jack, two sixth graders who, through a magical key, are able to shrink small enough to fit into the Thorne Rooms.
They discover that some of the rooms turn out to be portals to other times and places.
Janet Riehecky’s been fascinated by dinosaurs since she was a little girl; today, she writes books about them. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Riehecky about writing a children’s book that grounds itself in scientific fact. Riehecky is the author of several children's books, including the series "Killer Animals," which features a variety of creatures found in nature such as scorpions and cobras.
Then, Meadows talks with Urbana author Marianne Malone. Malone has been working on a series of books inspired by the Thorne Room art exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago. Although the stories are fictional, she says the books pull from history and are meant to teach about the past. Malone has so far written three books in the series, the latest being The Pirate's Coin.
What were your favorite books when you were little? Did they teach you anything?