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Mona Lisa in New York

Written by Yevgenia Nayberg

Illustrated by Yevgenia Nayberg

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Mona Lisa in New York Review

Art and Design Books of the Month Fantasy / Magical Featured Books for 5+ readers Featured Books for 7+ readers People / Places

Haughty art icon meets the marvels of street culture (and learns a thing or two in the process)

Casting Mona Lisa as a self-important, been there, done that, bought-the-t-shirt-in-the- museum-gift-shop character (“She loved the attention! She loved the crowds…I know everything and everyone knows me”), Yevgenia Nayberg’s Mona Lisa in New York presents a playful, strikingly-illustrated picture book ode to New York’s distinctive wonders through its unique, irreverent take on a 500-year-old enigma. 


After journeying across the ocean “so people far away could also admire her beauty”, and being marvelled at by crowds in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Mona Lisa is in for a shock when she decides to wander the city alone at night and gets lost. No problem, she thinks. Everyone knows who I am. Except they don’t. In fact, “No one paid any attention to her.” Thankfully, she encounters Tag, a graffiti art character from Brooklyn. While Mona Lisa is loath to accept that she’s the same as Tag, and while she initially insists that she knows everything, Tag kindly takes her hand and shows her NYC in all its kaleidoscopic glory - they  listen to jazz in Harlem, eat pizza in the Bronx, salsa dance on the High Line, and swim on Brighton Beach. “Turns out there’s so much I didn’t know,” she admits when they part. It also turns out that New York has captured Mona Lisa’s heart.


Great for introducing little ones to New York, this will also make an excellent springboard for talking about art and culture in all their forms.

Joanne Owen

Mona Lisa in New York Synopsis

In this beautiful and charming book, artist Yevgenia Nayberg, an immigrant to New York herself, shows young readers the city she has fallen in love with. Cleverly portraying da Vinci's iconic subject as a world-weary, know-it-all, Nayberg takes readers on a tour of New York.

Mona Lisa and Tag eat pizza in the Bronx, listen to jazz in Harlem, dance to salsa music on the High Line, and swim at Brighton Beach. As Mona Lisa says goodbye to her new friend, she-and the readers-come away with a profound appreciation of the city and its wonders.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9783791374451
Publication date: 04/03/2021
Publisher: Prestel
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9783791374451
Publication date: 4th March 2021
Author: Yevgenia Nayberg
Illustrator: Yevgenia Nayberg
Publisher: Prestel
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 32 pages
Suitable for: 5+ readers, 7+ readers
Genres: Art, Fantasy / Magical, People / Places
Recommendations: Books of the Month
Collections: 2021 Preview - Mega Books on the Horizon, Unlock their inner artist - 20 inspired books for Children's Art Week!,

About Yevgenia Nayberg

Yevgenia Nayberg is an illustrator, painter, and set and costume designer. Her illustrations have appeared in magazines and picture books, and on theatre posters, music albums, and book covers; her paintings, drawings, and illustrations are held in private collections worldwide. As a set and costume designer, she has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Endowment for the Arts/TCG Fellowship for Theatre Designers, the Independent Theatre Award and the Arlin Meyer Award. In 2018 she received a Sydney Taylor Silver Medal for her illustrations for Drop by Drop by Jaqueline Jules. Her debut author/illustrator picture book, Anya's ...

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