Monday, July 23, 2007

Katie and the Sunflowers by James Mayhew #32

Mayhew, J. (2000). Katie and the sunflowers. New York: Orchard Books.

Book Type/Pages:


Grade Level:

Kindergarten through third grade

Curriculum Links:


Author Credibility:

James Mayhew has written several art books in this series that include the same characters. In this book, he includes additional information about Vincent Van Gogh and other Postimpressionists artists. He acknowledges the National Gallery in London, the Bridgeman Art Library, the National Gallery of Art, Kroller-Muller Museum in the Netherlands, and Musee d’Osay in Paris.


I could not locate any awards for this book.

Book Summary:

This book is another in the series by Mayhew that has Katie and her grandmother visiting the art museum. Katie and her grandmother are planting seeds and have to stop because of inclement weather. They decide to spend the afternoon in the museum. While her grandmother is resting, Katie climbs into different paintings of the Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Cezanne. Katie ends up messing up each of the famous paintings she visits, and while putting them back together, she interacts with the subjects in the painting to learn more about the artists.

National/State Standards:

National Art Education Standards:
Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures
Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others


The illustrations in this book appear to be done in watercolor. Each illustration covers a two page spread with the text written on the illustration. In addition, reproductions of art work by Vincent Van Gogh and other Postimpressionists appear throughout the book. Mayhew, who also illustrated the book, uses yellow frequently, which is Van Gogh’s signature color.

Access Features:

Important access features in this book include additional information about the Postimpressionists artists (Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Cezanne) and acknowledgments. Also, the endpapers are illustrated with pencil drawings of sunflowers.

Writing Style:

Mayhew writes simply so that younger readers can enjoy learning more about the Postimpressionists painters. His tone is informal and conversational.

Use in My Classroom:

I would use this book as a part of an artist study of Vincent Van Gogh.

My Response to the Book:

I liked this book. I have read other books about Vincent Van Gogh and found them to be depressing because it went into further detail about Van Gogh’s mental illness. This book showed some of Van Gogh’s work and gave information on him without burdening the reader.

Related Texts:

Other art books by James Mayhew:

Katie and the Bathers
Katie and the Spanish Princess
Katie’s Picture Show
Katie Meets the Impressionists
Katie and the Mona Lisa
Katie’s Sunday Afternoon

1 comment:

童年沙龙 said...

Thank you for your introduction about the lovely Katie and the way James Mayhew show the art to children.