cover image Katie Meets the Impressionists

Katie Meets the Impressionists

James Mayhew. Scholastic, $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-531-30151-7

On Grandma's birthday, Katie goes with her to a museum and encounters some of the subjects in five paintings: two each by Monet and Renoir and one by Degas. She closes her eyes in front of one painting and opens them to find she's a guest in Monet's The Luncheon. There she gathers flowers for a birthday bouquet to give Grandma, but they don't fare too well on the crossing back into the museum. Next, her mission whisks her into three more works of art, including Renoir's Her First Evening Out, where the girl inadvertently wanders onstage during a performance by, as the artwork soon reveals, Degas's ballet dancers. Though Mayhew (Koshka's Tales) offers a breezy introduction to this school of painting, the book's duplication of works by two artists limits the scope of the lesson. Mayhew's softly focused watercolors approach the precious and his renditions of the characters frolicking through the fields present a jarring juxtaposition to the subjects represented in the original works (reproduced here on the museum walls). Ages 4-7. (Mar.)