Tom is visiting an art gallery with his granny. He will be seeing paintings by some great artists – it doesn’t sound too exciting. So when there is an opportunity to explore a small side room, Tom takes it and finds himself in a very different exhibition; an exhibition that comes alive….
Ruth Brown is well known for her beautifully imagined realistic images of cats and the world through which they move. Here we see her in her element as she takes a playful look at some of the world’s great masterpieces – and most of them from the past century. These are artists that children are very likely to encounter in school – Van Gogh, Magritte, Kahlo – and some perhaps a little more unfamiliar. Central to each painting, taking pride of place and adopting both the style of the artist and the character is a cat; a cat who leaps off the canvas to follow Tom as he proceeds pied- piper like from image to image. Nor are these “imaginary” cats. They are solid and as the text reveals, real breeds carefully chosen to match their artist. There is humour in watching them interact with each other – and the reading audience. The artwork is bold, immersive, Brown’s rich palette bringing each image to vivid life. The design is simple – we are after all in a gallery and we move from exhibit to exhibit naturally, without fuss. The simple text sets up the game describing the essence of the artists and their works. This is a game that could easily be developed and extended by imaginative teachers. What cat would you choose for Michelangelo? What a lovely and memorable way to be introduced to the world of art inside the classroom or out of it