Age 4-6 and Age 7-9
By James Mayhew (Orchard)
This delightful book was lent to us by a friend and we hardly wanted to give it back. Katie and her grandma visit the art gallery for her grandma’s birthday. Katie is gazing at a picture of The Luncheon by Claude Monet when she spies a garden in the backdrop. She closes her eyes and imagines she can smell the flowers when suddenly she opens her eyes and” there she was, amongst the daisies, hollyhocks, roses and sunflowers.” She has magically climbed into the painting where she meets a little boy called Jean, whose Papa paints flowers… Of course he is Jean Monet.
The story continues delightfully as Katie climbs in and out of different famous paintings looking for a bunch of flowers for her grandma. Parents will recognise the famous paintings such as Renoir’s Girl with a Watering Can and Her First Evening Out , Monet’s A Field with Poppies as well as The Blue Dancers by Edgar Degas. A great way to educate your children about art while also stirring their imagination as to the possible stories behind famous works. My kids were inspired to think of what kind of painting they could climb into. Mayhew’s illustrations have a lovely soft and nostalgic style that perfectly captures the historical adventure Katie embarks upon each time.
This is part of James Mayhew’s series of books about famous artists, such as Katie and the Mona Lisa, Katie and the Starry Night and Katie and the Sunflowers. At the end of each story, he gives more detailed information about every painting included in the book. Mayhew has also written the lovely Ella Bella series, which educates children about the ballet.