Monday, 26 August 2013

Katie and the Starry Night- James Mayhew

Katie and the Starry Night (subtitled A magical journey through five Van Gogh masterpieces) is one of a series of picturebooks designed to introduce children to art and history.  This story appealed to me in particular as I am fascinated by The Starry Night and have been ever since we did a Van Gogh project in my final year at junior school.  It took me seventeen years of longing to finally get to the Museum of Modern Art in NYC to see the painting in 'real life', but it was well worth the wait.  There is something enchanting and magical about it, almost other-worldly, and Katie and the Starry Night encapsulates this perfectly.

The story begins with Katie and her Grandma visiting an exhibition of Van Gogh's work.  Katie is fascinated by The Starry Night, which she describes as being 'like a dream'.  Katie climbs into the painting to reach out for the stars and puts one in her pocket.  Soon all the stars want to play and follow Katie out of the picture.  In Katie's attempt to return the stars before anyone notices that they have disappeared from one of the most recognisable paintings in the world, readers are introduced to some of Van Gogh's other inimitable pieces- Vincent's Chair, Noon, The Olive Grove and Fishing Boats on the Beach.

Beautifully illustrated and with an escapist story, Katie and the Starry Night is a fabulous introduction to the work of one of the world's most popular artists.  I loved it, and am sure that children will learn that art can be enjoyed by everyone as a result of this series.  I will definitely be seeking out more Katie books to add to my collection and use within my job as a nursery nurse. 


Katie and the Starry Night is out now, published by Orchard Books.

With thanks to Orchard Books for providing me with a review copy of this book in return for an honest review.


  1. This sounds like such a fascinating book! I wish it had been around when my two were young. They would have loved it, as we studied a lot of paintings together.


    1. I just loved it Penny. Definitely worth looking out for or trying the library-I am really keen to get hold of the other books in the series too (and there are lots)-such a fun way to introduce young children to classic artworks.