More Mayhew mayhem at the art gallery. This is the latest book in a very engaging series which introduces young children to the world of art history. Unable to cool off at the overcrowded swimming pool on a hot summer’s day, Katie and the Bathers sees young Katie and her grandmother going to the Pointillist section of the local art gallery instead. While grandma has a snooze, Katie, as she has done in her earlier adventures, gets very interactive with the paintings. She climbs into Seurat’s ‘Bathers at Asnières’, changes into her swimsuit and cools off by splashing in the water with a boy from the painting. As she climbs out of the picture the water spills out into the gallery. She is joined by several people from another Seurat painting. The water rises and in order to get back into her painting, Katie and her companions fetch a boat from a third Seurat painting, ‘Port of Honfleur’. And so her adventures continue. Wet clothes are dried by Pissarro’s ‘Woman Hanging up the Washing’ and a bit of magic is conjured up by the ‘Portrait of Felix Feneon’ (Paul Signac) to get rid of all the water before the art gallery attendant discovers the goings on.
Mayhew’s simple, gentle text is combined with creative, detailed illustrations that transport the reader, along with Katie of course, right into the pictures. Perfect for young readers, Katie and the Bathers includes a short afterword detailing further information about Pointillism and each of the paintings in the story. Other books in the series include Katie and the Mona Lisa, Katie and the Sunflowers and Katie Meets the Impressionists.