|Katie's Picture Show by James Mayhew|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Anne Thompson|
|Summary: To celebrate the 25th birthday of this perfect picture book for introducing young children to the world of art this charming story of Katie’s first visit to an art gallery has been beautifully re-illustrated for today’s readers.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: July 2014|
|Publisher: Orchard Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Can there be a better way of bringing the world of art and the classic masterpieces alive for children than the charming Katie series? This particular story is the one that started it all twenty five years ago and this celebratory issue has been beautifully re-illustrated by James Mayhew throughout and is also in a slightly larger format too. As the tiny figure of Katie stands dwarfed on the steps of the grand National Gallery with her Grandma, her happy attitude and cheerful disregard for rules such as Please do not touch teaches children not to be afraid of art and gently encourages a curious attitude not only to paintings but to all their surroundings. The formal atmosphere of an art gallery is made more engaging and child friendly as the paintings come to life with a friendly tiger, tea and cakes and a new playmate for Katie.
As Katie progresses around the gallery the paintings she discovers include Constable’s The Hay Wain where she tucks in to an apple pie and she then meets Madame Moitessier who offers Katie tea and cakes. My personal favourite is the depiction of Renoir’s The Umbrellas. As Katie notices a little girl with a hoop in the painting we turn to a double page spread where Katie in her bright red coat shines out from a sea of rain-soaked blue umbrellas as she talks to her new friend. I loved this picture and have returned to look at it again since. The story continues with a trip to the jungle to meet a tiger and a rescue from a piece of modern art. As in all the best adventures for children the responsible adult is removed from the story to allow the fun to continue unchecked so Katie’s Grandma conveniently has need of a snooze on the second page and at the end of the book Katie is reunited with her just in time for more tea and cake.
This lovely picture book is gentle, good fun and a simply brilliant way of encouraging children to use their imaginations and to gain the confidence to explore art themselves. It would be invaluable in schools as a teacher resource but would make a lovely present for a child too.
Thank you to the people at Orchard Books for sending this copy for review.
In addition to the Katie series James Mayhew has also written a series introducing young children to classical ballet one of which, Ella Bella Ballerina and the Sleeping Beauty is a big hit with the little girls I know.
You can read more book reviews or buy Katie's Picture Show by James Mayhew at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Katie's Picture Show by James Mayhew at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.