I admire Ms. Cairns for coming up with this ingenious way to help children acquire appreciation for art. The author uses humor, and adventures to capture the mind of children. I love this concept because it is a very effective way to introduce young minds to the abstract world of art education.
Gatsby, the adventurous cat, is very adept at jumping into paintings at night, in the art gallery, where he lives with owner Annabelle. The fun begins when Gatsby must figure out a way to jump out before sunrise or everything in the painting will be changed.
The illustrator, Eugene Ruble, uses pastels to portray the adventures in a unique way. I am also hugely impressed with Ms. Cairns’ play with words in order to bring this story to life. Here’s my favorite passage:
“One night, Gatsby crept
downstairs into the gallery. He padded
across the floor and stopped. His big
eyes stared at ‘The Apple Seller’ by
Pierre Auguste Renoir. Maybe those
little girls will play with me. Gatsby’s
tail twitched. His whiskers itched. His
haunches hitched. SNAP!”
Lastly, Ms. Cairns provides the reader with art information and many websites at the end of the book. In my opinion, this is a valuable resource .Teachers and parents can use the information to encourage further study on the topic of art education.