Happy birthday, Katie!


It is 30 years since James Mayhew’s wonderful book, ‘Katie’s Picture Show’ was first published. The perfect introduction to five famous paintings, the book follows Katie as she visits an art gallery with her grandmother. Exhausted by having been spun round in the revolving doors by her granddaughter, Grandma stops in the entrance for a rest whilst Katie sets off to explore. Curious and mischievous, Katie finds she can climb into various works of art and explore them, her bright red coat standing out in each one.


This book- and Katie’s subsequent adventures- is a wonderful starting point for giving children the confidence to explore art and bringing pictures to life. To the teacher, they are invaluable, but I also enjoyed sharing them with my son when he was little. He was so excited when we found pictures that he recognised from the story on our visits to art galleries.


Katie has since gone on to enjoy other adventures exploring more fabulous works of art. Grandma continues to enjoy a little snooze whilst Katie discovers the joys of a whole host of pictures. Each of these books offers endless possibilities for fun in the classroom - or at home. Notes are included in each book about the paintings she explores and the artists who created them, and there is a teaching pack available with ideas for using each title (here). Katie also has some other adventures with dinosaurs when she visits the Natural History Museum and exploring London and Scotland.


We have great plans for celebrating Katie’s birthday next term which include creating large scale copies of some of the pictures in which she has her adventures and then imagining adventures of our own set there as well as finding out about the artists behind them. As Katie and her Grandma also enjoy the occasional sweet treat, we have some tenuously related cooking activities planned too!

Happy birthday, Katie- we look forward to seeing which pictures you visit next- and thank you, Mr Mayhew, for writing such lovely books!

Katie’s Picture Show James Mayhew

Orchard Books ISBN: 978-1408332405