Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Katie’s Sunday Afternoon

Katie’s Sunday Afternoon

James Mayhew
Picture Book  Series
For ages 3 to 6
Scholastic, 2004   ISBN: 978-0439606783

It is a hot summer's day and Grandma and Katie decide to go swimming. Unfortunately the pool is full so Katie and Grandma take refuge in the museum for a while. In no time Grandma has dozed off in the hot museum. Katie discovers a room full of paintings that are not created using brushstrokes but are made with little dots of color. These pointillist pictures fascinate the little girl. Then she sees a picture of some people bathing in a river and before you can say 'summertime' Katie has stepped into the painting for a some of the cool breeze and water that she is sure lies behind the paint and canvas. Soon enough Katie is swimming in the company of a little boy called Jacques and is having a wonderful time until she tries to leave the painting. Katie sits on the picture frame which tilts and then... there is a river pouring into the gallery!

In no time characters from another painting are stepping out of their frame to enjoy the cool water which is flowing around in the gallery.

What follows is a series of misadventures, trips into paintings, and wonderful new encounters. James Mayhew, with his wonderful illustrations created in the style of the pointillist painters has a wonderful imagination and a delightful sense of the ridiculous. At the back of the book there is information about pointillism and about the painters who created the marvellous works of art that Katie visits; Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, and Camille Pissarro.

Readers of this book may enjoy the other titles written by James Mayhew that feature Katie and her other adventures in the museum.