Beauty, Art, Music in Literature Books Early Readers Features Genre It's Monday What Are You Reading Lifespan of a Reader Picture Books Reading Themes

[Monday Reading] Katie, Claude Monet, and her Impressionist Series

Katie, Monet, and the Impressionists.


It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community. 

I know about this series for awhile now, as we have invited James Mayhew a few times for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content. It is only now, though, that I am getting to know his famous Katie as the books are perfect for our current reading theme.

Katie And The Waterlily Pond: A Magical Journey Through Five Monet Masterpieces

Written and Illustrated by James Mayhew
Published by Hodder & Stoughton (2010)
ISBN: 1408304635 (ISBN13: 9781408304631). Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

I liked getting to know Katie and her Grandmother who takes pleasure in bringing the former to art galleries. In this book, Katie and Grandma chanced upon a Claude Monet competition as they were visiting the museum.

Fortunately for Katie, Grandma likes taking a nap – allowing her time and space to move around the art gallery, discovering things on her own, even to the point of literally stepping into the paintings – how incredible is that! The first painting she was invited to step into was Monet’s In The Woods at Giverny. This is again, fortuitous, since it is a painting of someone painting – how very meta – very Inception-like.

Over and above the philosophical aspects that can be gleaned from this, Katie was now provided the tools she needed in order for her to join the art competition. But first, she had to find the perfect spot. Naturally, it meant stepping into even more Monet paintings to find some peace, quiet, and much-needed inspiration – such as Path Through the Poppies, for instance.

I was really smitten by Katie, her wide-eyed spirit, her can-do attitude, and her evident talent for the arts. Whether she did get to join the Monet competition, I shall leave for you to discover.

Katie And The Impressionists

Written and Illustrated by James Mayhew
Published by Orchard Books (2014)
ISBN: 1408331926 (ISBN13: 9781408331927). Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

In this book, Grandma was celebrating her birthday and decided to bring Katie to the art gallery. Grandma (before taking her usual snooze) explained that Impressionist paintings are more than just blobs – as a picture would emerge when one stands back and truly appreciates it.

Hence, in this book, Monet makes another expected appearance with The Luncheon as seen above, where Katie gets to meet the young boy in the painting, as she steps into Impressionist universe. However, this time around she gets to also experience other artists such as Renoir, for example.

I really enjoyed this one, as Katie got into even more shenanigans – what with buzzing bees, an armful of poppies, and Degas’ Dancers in Blue joining in the Impressionist fray. The book also ends with Katie encouraging young readers to create their own Impressionist blobs and to dream big and fill a blank paper with colour. Such fun, this series. Do watch out for more in the coming days.

#LitWorld2018GB Update: UK (James Mayhew is from the UK)

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11 comments on “[Monday Reading] Katie, Claude Monet, and her Impressionist Series

  1. Sarah Sammis

    They look like a good pair of books. My weekly update

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like a great series to introduce students to different art.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. These are new to me & when I researched them on Amazon, it seems there are ten of them! Wow! What a wonderful idea for sharing about art with children, Myra. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This isn’t a series I’m familiar with but I really enjoy picture books about art, so I will look for these.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jana Eschner

    These look like terrific books to help develop art appreciation in young readers. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh wow, the art on the Katie books is amazing!

    My roundup!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for the introduction to this series Myra. It sounds like it should really be in every school library!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, these both look lovely, and I particularly appreciate books that celebrate intergenerational relationships – many of the kids at my library spend most of their time with their grandparents, so the sweet relationship between Katie and her grandmother will definitely resonate with them!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. WOW – I may have to go on a Mayhew binge. Thank you for sharing these lovely books, Myra. Have a wonderful reading week!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The art, the art! These books are stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Katie, Van Gogh, Starry Nights, and Sunflowers – Gathering Books

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