From School Library Journal
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 EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved