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Grade 2-6–Klimt, founder of the late-19th-century Secessionist Art Movement in Vienna, probably has greater renown in Europe than in the U.S. However, American children will enjoy this aesthetically pleasing fictional biography as told by the artist's cat, Katze. The feline takes readers into Klimt's studio to see the decorative, stylized paintings. Then, through conversations and the cat's observations, readers gain insight into the artist's personality, thoughts, and philosophy on art and life. None of this is as heavy as it might seem, given Klimt's erotic and psychological preoccupations. The cat's tale is much softer, much lighter–a child's interpretation of the paintings. There is no dumbing down–just appreciation from a different perspective. The mixed-media illustrations work wonderfully with the story. Done in the decorative, ornamental style of Klimt himself, they shine with gold, rich fabrics, paint, and photographs. The effect is as dazzling as his originals. They invite study and appreciation. Readers will need to look twice to distinguish between the illustrations and the reproductions of Klimt's paintings included at the book's conclusion. This richly illustrated, sophisticated work is a beautiful addition to picture-book collections.–Carolyn Janssen, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH
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Gr. 1-3. An art-savvy cat narrates this whimsical, fictionalized story of artist Gustav Klimt, which is illustrated with dazzling collages reminiscent of the artist's work. Katze, as Klimt calls his pet, describes watching the painter work in his studio and accompanying Klimt as he gathers inspiration on walks through gardens and museums, on boating outings, and even on a trip to Italy. Monaco's beautiful compositions swirl with dreamlike ribbons of dazzling color, patterns, and angular figures that borrow directly from Klimt's work, and a few of Klimt's paintings (including images of bare-breasted models) appear in small reproductions at the book's end. Children looking for literal representation of the words may have trouble making out the stylized forms, but even those who are hesitant at first will be attracted by the accessible descriptions of an artist at work and the glittering, gold-accented shapes and fanciful design. This isn't a necessary purchase, but it's an intriguing, attractive introduction to an individual who's rarely featured in books for youth. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Did not like this book. Too much story that's way too complicated and very little o Klimt's art. Pass on this one.Published 20 days ago by Susan Rosenberg
Just fantastic. Did an art project with it. Had lots of fun with our cat.Published 3 months ago by Christel Moon
Perfect for my art classroom. Students like to read when they have completed a project in class. This is a good one.Published 20 months ago by M. H.
I love the story of the artist through his cat's point of view. It was a great tale of his life, career, inspirations and painting (appropriate for my 5th grade audience). Read morePublished on January 2, 2013 by Christine M Hatfield
This book is not the most interesting for kindergardeners as it has a lot to stop and explain.I like to be able to just read the book all the way through but this one you cannot do... Read morePublished on February 26, 2010 by ARt teacher