Thursday, 30 December 2010

BOOK REVIEW - Katie Meets the Impressionists - By: James Mayhew

"Another Katie book!," cried the children when I came home from the library with "Katie Meets the Impressionists."  Unfortunately this is the last of the Katie series that is easily available to us through inter-library loans, as six of the titles are not listed as being part of the collection of any library in Saskatchewan.  Apparently there is often a considerable charge to order books in from other jurisdictions and so the library does not like to bring in childrens' books from other places outside the province.  Perhaps we will have to purchase them for birthday presents as both Alisdair and Isobel love to accompany Katie on her adventures.

It's Grandma's birthday and Katie accompanies Grandma to the gallery to celebrate this special occasion.  In a twist from the other books, Grandma doesn't fall asleep and nap while Katie explores!  The first painting they enjoy examining is "The Luncheon" by Claude Monet.  Katie enters the painting and meets Monet's son, Jean.  The two children go inside Monet's studio and paint portraits of each other "using dabs just like real painters."

The Luncheon - Claude Monet

The next painting is "Girl with a Watering Can" by Pierre Auguste Renoir. Katie brought some flowers from the Monet's garden and they begin to wilt -- so she needs some water to preserve them. But despite the water, the flowers still droop. The girl with the watering can and Katie pick some new, fresh flowers but they are soon reprimanded by the girl's mother. Katie hastily returns to the gallery.

Girl with a Watering Can - Pierre Auguste Renoir
Katie recognizes Jean Monet in another painting called Field of Poppies.  She joins Jean and his mother on a picnic and gathers armfuls of poppies for Grandma. However, soon Katie is chased by a swarm of angry bees.  Even after she returns to the safety of the gallery, the bees still buzz above her head.  Thinking quickly, Katie opens a window and throws the poppies outside.  The bees fly away -- but Katie still doesn't have any flowers to give her grandmother for her birthday.  Then Katie spots the posy of flowers, held by the girl in a picture by Pierre Auguste Renoir, called Her First Evening Out.

Her First Evening Out - Pierre Auguste Renoir
Katie briefly speaks to the girl before running away from the theater manager.  She opens a door to hide and finds herself on stage with dancers from The Blue Dancers by Edgar Degas.  So Katie performs, the crowd cheers and throws flowers at her!  Katie collects the flowers and when she returns to the gallery, she has a lovely bouquet for her Grandma.

The Blue Dancers - Edgar Degas
A delightful introduction to Impressionist paintings!

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