Thursday, 3 July 2014

Katie's Picture Show (25th Anniversary Edition) by James Mayhew (Orchard Books)

Katie's Picture Show (25th Anniversary Edition)

Written and Illustrated by
James Mayhew

Published by Orchard Books

Another happy publication day today for a book that's actually been around for quite some time. It's testament to how timeless this book is that I had absolutely no idea that it was 25 years old this year! Wowsers!

"Katie's Picture Show" by James Mayhew is the book that started Katie's incredible journeys of discovery as she visits the National Gallery with her grandma one rainy afternoon. Katie's grandma is a little tired, and finds somewhere quiet for a snooze while Katie flits off for a closer look at the fabulous works of art.

"DO NOT TOUCH!" say the signs, but Katie (rather naughtily!) can't resist, and soon discovers that the paintings are alive, and she can climb into them! Drawn into Constable's "The Haywain", Katie embarks on a thrilling adventure (and gets up to all sorts of mischief! Will Madame Moitessier's dress ever recover from those tea stains?)

James has a fabulous way of directly engaging children's curiosity, introducing them to art and artists in a fun and kid-friendly way (though naturally we wouldn't advise grandmas to let their children run off by themselves in a gallery, nor would we advise children to let their sticky jammy fingers get anywhere near any of the paintings! Eek!)

I love art, and James' books have always been a really great way to introduce Charlotte to the works of art and of course the artists I've admired for years and have grown up idolising.

The formula is obviously a huge success as there are quite a few books in the range now (we gave up counting at 11) - each with their own themes as Katie discovers artists as diverse as Rousseau, Constable, Turner and Da Vinci.

If you've never read any of the Katie series, this is an extremely good place to start! Happy birthday to a fab book!

Charlotte's best bit: Playing hoop and stick, and snaffling Madame Moitessier's cakes!

Daddy's Favourite bit: A truly wonderful book series started with this fabulous story. A really brilliant way of introducing your child to the wonders of art and the artists behind some of the world's most famous works.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Orchard Books)