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Katie and the Mona Lisa by James Mayhew

Katie and the Mona Lisa

by James Mayhew

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I truthfully wasn't sure what to expect from this book when I put it on hold at the library. I chose it because we are studying Italy at the moment, and I thought it would be fun to look at a particular painting with my students. I read it aloud to a group of K-2 students, and pretended the main character (Katie) was actually me, because we have the same name. As I read I made interjections about the story, but looking back it might have been fun to read it from a first person perspective. Regarding the story, Mona Lisa and Katie take a tour through various paintings in the museum, seeking someone or something that can make Mona Lisa smile again. The dialogue is entertaining and the authors grasp of the stories or backgrounds of the individual stories is commendable. It was fun to see Katie talking to Saint George and dancing with the maidens in Primavera. The illustrations were fun and reflective of the paintings Katie and Mona Lisa were visiting. The bright colors and detail used made it seem like a fairy tale, and I can imagine reading this as a child, inspecting all of the intriguing small details. Lastly, I like that the paintings Katie and Mona Lisa travel through are images of the actual paintings when viewed inside the museum. This is a tactic used by other authors (Ian Falconer with Olivia, for example) and it makes an effort at exposing children to art, which I appreciate. ( )
  sskatherine | Feb 5, 2012 |
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At the art museum, while her grandmother dozes, Katie steps into the painting of the Mona Lisa and together they have adventures with the characters from four other well-known Renaissance paintings. Includes information about the artists.

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