This is such an excellent series of books, in which Katie goes to the art gallery (although most books are set in art galleries, in other books she visit museums and tourist attractions) with her lovely Grandma. In this latest adventure there is a Van Gogh exhibition and, while Grandma takes her usual nap, Katie goes exploring. There are five Van Gogh paintings featured in this book: The Starry Night, Noon, Vincent's Chair, Fishing Boats on the Beach and The Olive Grove. Climbing into The Starry Night, Katie manages to let the stars escape into the gallery and then embarks on a chase to put them all back before the gallery guard comes past. These are lovely books to look at, enchanting to read and they open children's eyes to new experiences and famous artists. The back of the book has a page with more information about the paintings and the artist, and the whole series is a delight.
If you live, or visit, London and wish to take your little ones to the National Gallery, where many of the Katie books are set, then you can buy a "Katie's National Gallery Adventure" trail from the shop, or download it online. You can then find some of the paintings mentioned in Katie's Picture Show. I found these books have really enabled my children to enjoy going to galleries more, and I highly recommend them all. If you have a child who enjoys ballet, the author has another excellent series about Ella Bella Ballerina, which introduces your child to famous ballets. These are childrens books at their best, beautifully illustrated, well written, fun and educational.
Katie and the Starry Night (subtitled A magical journey through five Van Gogh masterpieces) is one of a series of picturebooks designed to introduce children to art and history. This story appealed to me in particular as I am fascinated by The Starry Night and have been ever since we did a Van Gogh project in my final year at junior school. It took me seventeen years of longing to finally get to the Museum of Modern Art in NYC to see the painting in 'real life', but it was well worth the wait. There is something enchanting and magical about it, almost other-worldly, and Katie and the Starry Night encapsulates this perfectly.
The story begins with Katie and her Grandma visiting an exhibition of Van Gogh's work. Katie is fascinated by The Starry Night, which she describes as being 'like a dream'. Katie climbs into the painting to reach out for the stars and puts one in her pocket. Soon all the stars want to play and follow Katie out of the picture. In Katie's attempt to return the stars before anyone notices that they have disappeared from one of the most recognisable paintings in the world, readers are introduced to some of Van Gogh's other inimitable pieces- Vincent's Chair, Noon, The Olive Grove and Fishing Boats on the Beach.
Beautifully illustrated and with an escapist story, Katie and the Starry Night is a fabulous introduction to the work of one of the world's most popular artists. I loved it, and am sure that children will learn that art can be enjoyed by everyone as a result of this series. I will definitely be seeking out more Katie books to add to my collection and use within my job as a nursery nurse.
Katie and the Starry Night is out now, published by Orchard Books.
My kids and I love the Katie books. Such a brilliant way to fire up an interest in art, dinosaurs, London, Scotland, museums and galleries, and potentially everything! Keep them coming please. Can I suggest for future publication; Katie visits the Aquarium, Katie goes to the railway museum, Katie and the observatory, Katie visits Pompeii, Katie and the Pyramids, etc, etc.
I like almost all the books in the series. I have quite a collection of these books. My eldest and the youngest enjoy these books very much, the middle one though doesn't sit through the reading, keeps pacing around in the room but listens carefully, this gives me hope that someday he'll be interested in these books. I bought the books with the intention of introducing my children to the word of famous artists.. going good so far.
We have several series of Katie's. they cannot wait to go back to the Netherlands to see van Gogh's paintings. My children refer to Renoir, Monet, Dugas as if they are next door neighbors. "Monsieur Monet has a friendly son and he loves to draw pretty flowers". They all enjoy these books, but I am disappointed that there are no hardcovers. Can't publishers print more of them?
Good introduction to Van Gogh for children. Weaves some of his more well known works into a lovely story about a little girl exploring a museum with her grandma and has good, full page illustrations of the paintings featured. My daughter enjoys reading it as a bedtime story and she is now able to name the paintings on sight. Really helped with her topic work at school
My Grandson loved it. My daughter took it in to school to read to her Yr 2 class who were also enthralled. This series is a great way way to get 6/7 year olds to relate to classic paintings and artists.