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Katie Meets The Impressionists Hardcover – March 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0531301516
  • ISBN-13: 978-0531301517
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 10.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers 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.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 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
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Born in 1964, James Mayhew studied illustration at Maidstone College of Art, graduating in 1987 with first class honours. His first book for children Katie's Picture Show (Orchard Books) was published in 1989, beginning his million-selling series of books introducing the work of famous artists to children. There are now nine books about Katie, exploring artists from the Italian Renaissance to Post-Impressionism.

A passionate advocate of art and culture for the very young, James's books range from Shakespearean anthologies (To Sleep, Perchance to Dream; Shakespeare's Storybook), through to grand opera (The Barefoot Book of Stories from the Opera) and most recently ballet, with the Ella Bella Ballerina series. His books are published in many languages including Chinese Mandarin, Japanese, Spanish, Catalan, Greek, German, Italian, Brazilian, French, Korean, Finnish, Danish, Swedish and Estonian.

James has now published over fifty books for children and has illustrated works by many well known contemporary writers: Philippa Pearce's Beauty And The Beast (Macdonald), Elisabeth Beresford's Lizzie's War (Hodder), Martin Waddell's Boneless And The Tinker (Orchard Books), Joyce Dunbar's Mouse & Mole books (Corgi - adapted for television in 1997 and featuring the voices of Alan Bennett and Richard Briers), and Jenny Koralek's The Boy And The Cloth Of Dreams (Walker Books), for which he was awarded the New York Times Book Illustration Prize in 1994.

As a writer, James enjoys creating texts for other illustrators, including Who wants a Dragon? for Lindsey Gardiner (short listed for the Sheffield Children's Book Award) and Can you see a little Bear? for Jackie Morris.

An experienced storyteller, James has devised and performed unique orchestral concerts for children with narration and live illustration, including Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, Stravinsky's Firebird and Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition for the de Havilland Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2008 he was invited to participate in workshops and children's promenade performances at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

His book Koshka's Tales: Stories From Russia (Kingfisher Books), has been adapted for the Syracuse symphony Orchestra, New York as a children's concert using music by Rimsky-Korsakov and he has also illustrated for the Mariinsky (Kirov) Opera, St. Petersburg and for the Metropolitan Opera Guild in New York.

James is invited to speak internationally at schools and at Literary and Arts festivals, including the Cheltenham, Bath and Edinburgh Festivals, organising a wide variety of art projects with children. He has taught courses on writing for the Arvon Foundation, and also teaches illustration at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.

Forthcoming projects include new Katie and Ella Bella titles.

James is a member of the Art Worker's Guild and the Society Of Authors.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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It is a wonderful introduction to impressionist painters and their paintings.
Isabella K. Badenoch
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in exposing young children to art appreciation, which can begin at an early age.
N. Erskine
I love this book, the story is very engaging and the images are wonderfully done.
Carme Sevenster

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Shelley Gammon TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For her birthday, Katie's grandmother takes her to the museum to see the impressionist paintings. At first, Katie thinks they look like dots, but her grandmother tells her to stand further back to see the flowers and the people. Katie has a rich imagination. She steps back and not only can she see the flowers, she can smell them. She closes her eyes and she finds herself within the painting itself, interacting with Jean Monet, son of Claude Monet, who is one of the subjects in the painting.
Katie picks flowers for her grandmother and enters one painting after another, meeting different artists and interacting with the various subjects. She is chased by bees that follow her into the museum, but her overall experience is one of adventure.
Katie and her grandmother are whimsical impressionistic drawings themselves, and in the museum are photos of the actual works of Monet, Renoir and Degas.
The book also tells readers the names and dates of the paintings and in what museums they are seen today.
This is not only a great book to introduce children into art, but also a great exercise for the imagination - picturing yourself escaping into a painting and meeting new people. It is a great book for parents to read to their kids or for children to read on their own.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
We discovered this book at the D'Orsay Museum and our son immediately loved it. We also found that it was a wonderful tool to draw in a child such as our nephew that has learning difficulties & an attention deficit. Both children enjoyed the artwork and discussing museum etiquette. We were so impressed with this book that we purchased the other two in the series at the Lourve!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 11, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This colorful book will catch the curiosity of many early elementary children. Asking children to "jump into the picture" is a tried and true technique for developing and interest in and love for art. This book succeeds in using this technique admirably! Fun for any adult who has an interest in Impressionism as well!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Young children will love the bright pictures of France in the 1800's as they journey with Katie. A wonderful way to teach little ones about the art of the Impressionists. The book is also a great way to teach a preschooler about historical customs and manners. The author has a unique artistic gift which he is able to share with children.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Leah Marie Brown, Author VINE VOICE on September 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I found this book at the Museum Shop in the Louvre. I stood there, flipping through the pages, laughing at the text and admiring the illustrations. I said I was buying it for my children but I really wanted it for myself.
Katie Meets the Impressionists is a fun story with beautiful illustrations, a great way to teach children about Monet!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on March 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
It's Grandma's birthday and she's taken Katie to one of her favorite places, the art museum. As Katie looks at The Luncheon by Monet, it looks so real and inviting that she thinks she can actually smell the flowers. A bouquet would be nice for Grandma and so she steps over the frame into the picture..... James Mayhew has written a wonderfully imaginative story that will introduce youngsters to the impressionists. As Katie moves from picture to picture, meeting Renoir's Girl with a Watering Can, playing with Monet's son Jean in Field of Poppies and dancing with the ballerinas in The Blue Dancers, children will explore the beauty and magic of these and other paintings. His simple, gentle text is combined with creative, detailed illustrations that transport kids, along with Katie, right into the pictures. With an afterword about the artists and their pictures to expand lessons and discussions, it won't be long before you're taking a trip to the museum!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By N. Erskine on August 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book along with two others from James Mayhew's collection for my two and five-year-old daughters. We enjoyed learning about the artists, types of paintings and history. After purchasing this book, I ordered another one as a birthday gift for a six-year-old and took the kids to a local museum featuring Impressionism. It is a great book for introducing famous art pieces and familiarizing young children with art history. Katie's adventures allow the children to step inside the paitings and experience various imaginative scenarios. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in exposing young children to art appreciation, which can begin at an early age.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Children's book reader, Seattle, WA on September 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
James Mayhew set the bar high with this adventurous and educational story. I cannot think of a better way to encourage children to explore impressionism. Our daughter was just 3.5 when we first fell in love with Katie. We have since purchased the series of Katie books and enjoy sharing them with other children.
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