Katie and the British Artists by James Mayhew

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Katie and the British Artists by James Mayhew

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Magda Healey
Reviewed by Magda Healey
Summary: Just as the other books in the series, this is pleasant and informative if not terribly exciting edutainment, which combines a bit of magical adventure with an introduction to British art. Worth borrowing, and might be worth buying especially before embarking on a trip to Tate Britain or a similar gallery.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: June 2009
Publisher: Orchard
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1846167379

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Katie and the British Artists is part of an edutainment series which introduces young children to the world of art. In each of the books, Katie visits a museum or a gallery with her grandma, and while grandma sleeps, Katie steps into the paintings.

And so in the current volume: as Katie and Grandma go to a gallery, they pass people going to work, and Katie wonders what her future job will be (an art critic?). This is the start of a tour of the British painting with Katie making friends with the shepherd Ben from Constable's Cornfield, who then goes on to have a go at driving a train in Turner's Rain, Steam and Speed, riding Stubbs' Whistlejack and trying his hand at portraiture in one of Gainsborough daughters' paintings. It all ends with both children deciding that they are really happiest in their own skin and position.

The story is light-hearted and not exactly bristling with excitement: it's not a book that little children would read or listen to with their mouths open, but as a device to introduce the art and to make it more familiar and interesting (if only by referring to its anecdotal and social history aspects), it works fine. Both the art and the life of the people who figure in the paintings are brought closer to the life of today's children as Katie - literally - enters the world of the 18th and 19th century British paintings.

Katie is engaging, mischievous, adventurous and playful, but never seriously in trouble. The language is easy and a child just beginning to read could cope with the story on their own, provided an adult helped with the names and elaborate picture titles, but it's also a great book to read aloud or share reading with your child.

The book concludes with a short information about the painters and the listing of the artworks.

Great for a school or children's library, and useful in other educational settings, it's worth borrowing for home use, and would also be a nice book to introduce the child to works of art, maybe before a gallery visit (all of the paintings featured are in the National Gallery in London).

Thanks go the publishers for sending this book to The Bookbag.

If this book appeals to you then you might also enjoy Katie and the Spanish Princess by James Mayhew.

Buy Katie and the British Artists by James Mayhew at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Katie and the British Artists by James Mayhew at Amazon.co.uk.

Buy Katie and the British Artists by James Mayhew at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Katie and the British Artists by James Mayhew at Amazon.com.


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