Children's Art History Books to Really Get Excited About!

Some of the links on this site are affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and purchase something, I'll receive a small affiliate commission at no cost to you. Thanks so much for supporting my efforts with this blog!

Although we haven't done it since Gv was born, G and I have always loved visiting museums around the world and having the chance to see famous works of art up‐close.  

Luckily, our local art museum holds a free admission night once a month, which has enabled us to see some fantastic traveling exhibitions (like the recent one featuring MirĂ³) that have come through and so Gv has already gotten a small taste of what's (hopefully) to come when we resume our travels in the future.

In the meantime, I knew I wanted to find some great art books to tide us over.  I found lots of great options out there, but they all seemed geared for an older reader and while Gv still enjoyed looking at all the colorful pictures, I wanted something I could read to her that would engage her a bit more.

After doing a little searching, I came across a series of books by James Mayhew.  I immediately requested every single copy that my library system had and we've been enjoying them all for the past couple of months (gotta love having three library cards and being able to renew titles!)

These are books that Gv will cart around and beg me to read, over and over and over, for hours at a time each day.  Usually, reading the same book a bazillion times in one sitting will drive me batty, but I have to say, I enjoy going through these books each time, just as much as she does.

One reason I love them is because it's just really cool to see a work of art referenced and know that you've seen it in person:  

A page from Katie & the Mona Lisa, showing Botticelli's Primavera (Uffizi Gallery, Florence)
 Another reason is that every time I read one of these books to Gv, I discover something new that's hidden away in the background:

If you look closely, you can see Van Gogh's Starry Night hanging on the gallery wall behind the little Breton girl on the left.  The author doesn't mention this or call attention to the picture, it's just there for you to discover on your own.  I love that, and these books are filled with backgrounds of other famous works of art just like this. (This is a page from Katie & the Sunflowers)
I love the overall concept of the story lines, where Katie and her grandmother are visiting a museum and while Granny takes a little nap, Katie finds herself in the art, interacting with the painting's characters, and experiencing delightful adventures:

In Katie's Sunday Afternoon, she climbs into a Seurat painting to cool off, but accidentally tips the frame and water comes gushing out into the museum!  She and a little boy from the painting must figure out how to clean up the mess.
In Katie Meets the Impressionists, she gathers some flowers for Grandma in a Monet painting, but then appeals to Girl with a Watering Can (Renoir) for help in saving the wilting bundle.
Finally, I love how Gv is already so familiar with many of the characters and works of art in these books.  She'll point out Mona Lisa on each page of the book about the Italian Renaissance and I daresay if we were to twitch our noses like Samantha or Tabitha and find ourselves standing before the actual Mona Lisa, Gv would recognize and name the work immediately. 

Katie is dressed in red in every book, so Gv easily points her out, as well:

Our collection of these fabulous stories are all just on loan from the library, but even though we've got more books than square feet in our house and not really the budget to buy more, I'm seriously considering hunting down some copies of these to own.  

I should also make sure to tell you that I'm not being asked to review these books at all (but maybe the author will see this post and send some complimentary copies our way ‐ hint, hint); we've just really fallen in love with them and I wanted to spread the word about how great they are.

You can find Katie books on the following topics:

Italian Renaissance
Impressionists & Monet
PostImpressionists & Van Gogh
British Artists
Spanish Artists

Besides gallivanting about amongst amazing art, Katie also has adventures visiting sites in two areas of Great Britain, which is great for families like us who love to travel:

London at Christmas

Would you like to introduce your child to the world's greatest art while reading fun adventure stories at the same time?  Check out these Katie books and let me know if you enjoy them as much as we do!  I'd love to hear - leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

Also, if you don't want to miss a single minute of great tips like this and all the fun around here, be sure to sign up for free updates and then look forward to having each post delivered right to your inbox. 

Linked up with: Merry Monday, Thoughtful Spot, Motivation Monday, Mom 2 Mom Monday, What'd You Do This Weekend,Good Tips Tuesday,Totally Terrific Tuesday,Tuesday Tutorials, Two Uses Tuesday, Do Tell Tuesday,  Fluster's Creative Muster, Wordless Wednesday, Homestead Blog Hop, A Little Bird Told Me, WFMW, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, The Mommy Club, Ladies Collective, This Is How We Roll, Frugal Family Linky, Hearts for Home, Creative Ways, Thrifty Thursday, Creative Exchange, Pretty Pintastic Party, Front Porch Friday, Home Matters, Awesome Life Friday, Kitchen Fun & Crafty, I'm Lovin' It, Inspiration Spotlight,