Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Katie and the Starry Night

Katie and the Starry Night

James Mayhew
Picture Book  Series
For ages 5 to 7
Hodder & Stoughton, 2013   ISBN: 978-1408304655

Katie and her grandmother love going out together. For a treat, on special days, Grandma takes Katie to the art gallery. On this particular day, Grandma and Katie are going to see a special exhibit of some of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings. Katie’s favorite painting in the exhibit is called The Starry Night. While Grandma is dozing, Katie looks at the painting and she notices that the stars on the canvas seem to be moving. Carefully Katie steps into the painting.

   Now inside the scene in the painting, Katie, at the top of a Cypress tree, reaches out and takes one of the stars in the sky. She puts the star in her pocket so that she can show it to Grandma later.

   Katie jumps back into the gallery and some of the stars come “twirling after her.” Thinking that the stars want to play with her, she tries to jump up and catch them but she cannot quite reach, so she borrows a chair from one of the other Vincent van Gogh paintings. While she is getting the chair, those swirling, curling stars pour out into the gallery, and then they go into one of the other paintings. They make night arrive in a painting called Noon, and a woman in the painting wakes up to see the runaway stars. She immediately knows that the stars don’t belong in her painting. Something has to be done!

   In this wonderful Katie title, Katie once more steps into some paintings and a series of wonderfully peculiar adventures follows. At the back of the book the author provides readers with information about Vincent van Gogh, and he tells us a little about the five paintings that are featured in the story.