Katie Meets the Impressionists

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
On Grandma's birthday, Katie goes with her to a museum and encounters some of the subjects in five paintings: two each by Monet and Renoir and one by Degas. She closes her eyes in front of one painting and opens them to find she's a guest in Monet's The Luncheon. There she gathers flowers for a birthday bouquet to give Grandma, but they don't fare too well on the crossing back into the museum. Next, her mission whisks her into three more works of art, including Renoir's Her First Evening Out, where the girl inadvertently wanders onstage during a performance by, as the artwork soon reveals, Degas's ballet dancers. Though Mayhew (Koshka's Tales) offers a breezy introduction to this school of painting, the book's duplication of works by two artists limits the scope of the lesson. Mayhew's softly focused watercolors approach the precious and his renditions of the characters frolicking through the fields present a jarring juxtaposition to the subjects represented in the original works (reproduced here on the museum walls). Ages 4-7. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
It is grandma's birthday and as a treat, she is taking Katie to the art museum. Prompted by the beautiful flowers in a Claude Monet painting, Katie is determined to give grandma a bouquet. She closes her eyes, and when she opens them she finds herself in the painting. While there, she shares adventures with the people portrayed in the work of art. Before she is successful, she will walk through four other paintings, including a field of poppies and a visit to the ballet. The storyline is weak but this is a useful tool for introducing young children to a particular style of art. Five reproductions of works by Monet, Renoir and Degas can be seen on the museum walls. They blend nicely with Mayhew's watercolor illustrations. Brief information on the artists can be found at the end of the story as well as the museum locations of the original art.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-This British import pays joyful homage to the world of the Impressionists. When Katie and her grandmother visit an art museum to celebrate the elder's birthday, the girl wanders into a gallery where she admires Claude Monet's The Luncheon. The garden in the painting is filled with flowers that she is sure her grandmother would love. With a blink of her eyes, Katie is magically transported into the painting. There she meets Monet's son, Jean, along with his mother and nanny. The characters in the scene are nonchalant about the girl's arrival and Jean helps her gather un bouquet, then treats her to a tour of his father's studio. Katie hops out of the picture as facilely as she entered it. Still seeking the perfect posies for Grandma, she ventures into other paintings. Katie achieves her final triumph as she wanders onto a stage filled with Degas's dancers, where she is showered with flowers by an enthusiastic audience. Arms overflowing with blossoms, she returns to the museum to find her grandma. Lovely watercolors emulate the style of the Impressionists but with a more childlike slant. This technique of juxtaposing the masterpieces with more naive versions effectively conveys the transitions in the story line. Not only does this delightful fantasy succeed as art education, but it's a charming story as well.-Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews
Not for the first time, the heroine of a picture book steps into some museum paintings and learns a little about the artists and their eras. In search of flowers for her grandmother, Katie first steps into a Monet, "The Luncheon," and romps with the painter's son, Jean. Next Katie drops in on Renoir's "Girl with a Watering Can," revisits Jean in Monet's "Field of Poppies," and eventually ends up on stage with Degas's ballerinas. The dissolving boundaries of these paintings communicate to children how art provides a window into the past, while Mayhew's illustrations are light-filled and playful, complementing the styles of the inset reproductions. (Picture book. 4-7) .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780531301517
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Edition description: 1 AMER ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2011

    Wonderful!!!

    Fun introduction to art for young children.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2002

    Art appreciation at the level for a preschooler

    My daughter likes the story and loves to pick out the familiar impressionistic paintings reproduced on its pages where every we go. We have all three of Mayhew's Katie books - it really helps her relate to the artists and pictures when we visit museums and exhibitions.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2001

    Fantastic Book! We love it!

    I read this book to my 2 1/2 year old and change the name from Katie to my daughter's name instead. She absolutely loves it. We now take her to the art museum and we always read this book in the car on the way there. When at the museum my daughter wanted to know if she could jump into the painting like in the book, I was thrilled the book had made such an impression on her! We love it!

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