One of our goals for each term is to choose an artist and look at some of their paintings together. We have found the story books by Laurence Anholt and the Katie series by James Mayhew to be a helpful resource in bringing the artists and their paintings to life. These two series have a different approach – Katie visits the paintings in the museum and sees them come to life, allowing her to interact with the people in them.
In contrast, Laurence Anholt focuses on one artist and their encounter with a child or young person, and creates a fictionalised account with factual elements. In this book, a little girl called Julie (niece of artist Edouard Manet) goes to visit Monet in his garden at Giverny and is taken around the grounds as well as taught the importance of patience. The beautiful illustrations are accompanied by pictures of Monet’s work, starting at Paris, Gare St Lazare and then focusing on those from his garden.
The story in itself is lovely, and a great introduction to Monet, with factual information at the end. I would highly recommend this and all of the series, whether you are studying the artist or just wanting to enjoy the book.
We were fortunate enough to visit Giverny last October and it was wonderful to see all the places so familiar to us both from Monet’s paintings but also from this book. There was the Japanese bridge over the lily pad covered lake; when we saw the rowing boats we wondered whether one of these had been used by Monet to take Julie across the water. On entering the house it was lovely to see the very reconisable blue and yellow rooms, where the characters have afternoon tea together. Whilst no photography was allowed in the house, SisterEvs took some marvellous photos of the gardens, while here are some of my own efforts…