Katie and the Starry Night by James Mayhew

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Katie and the Starry Night by James Mayhew

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Continuing the series where Katie is introduced to the paintings of various artists this time it's the turn of Van Gogh and Katie has a lovely adventure involving five of his paintings. A lovely gift, or a nice book to share with children before going on a trip to a gallery yourself.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: August 2012
Publisher: Orchard
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1408304655

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When Katie goes out with her Grandma to museums and art galleries interesting things always seem to happen whenever Grandma takes a little nap! This time Katie and Grandma have come to see an exhibition of Van Gogh paintings, and as Grandma rests Katie climbs into The Starry Night painting and begins her adventure!

James Mayhew has written a series of books about Katie and art. Sometimes looking at groups of artists, and sometimes focusing on just one. This time it is purely Vincent Van Gogh, and I really like the way he introduces some of the artist's famous paintings. When Katie climbs into the Starry Night picture she takes one of the stars and pops it in her pocket, but then all the other stars start to float out of the painting and so Katie must find a way to capture them. She tries standing on the chair that's in the picture Vincent's Chair, she gets help from a lady in Noon, she borrows a ladder from The Olive Grove and she ends up in a fishing boat from Fishing Boats on the Beach. It isn't the most exciting of adventures, but I rather liked the gentle nature of the story.

The simple story provides a lovely way to discuss art with a child, probably one in the 4 to 7 age range, and my five year old certainly enjoyed looking closely at the pictures and talking about Van Gogh. The words aren't too complicated, so early readers could probably have a go at reading it themselves. There's also a page at the end of the book which talks briefly about the artist's life as well as the paintings in the book, so those interested in knowing more can find out. It's quite a short story, but we found because of this last page of extra information we spent some time afterwards going back to look at all the paintings and talk about them.

The paintings are really well drawn within the story and I even found myself thinking more about the colours Van Gogh had used and his style of art. Katie is a sweetly drawn little girl and I like the way she interacts with the artwork. You can clearly see Van Gogh's distinctive style, and Katie's adventure leads you gently to thinking about the artwork she's walking through. This is an educational book, but it's written in such a charming way that you don't feel as if you're being forced to learn anything. I think it would work well in a school setting, but it's a sweet story for bedtimes too. The beautiful artwork makes it an ideal birthday gift, or it would certainly be a good book to share before making your own visit to a gallery or museum.

You might also enjoy some of Katie's other adventures - Katie and the British Artists and Katie an the Waterlily Pond.

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


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


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