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Book Review: ‘Gatsby’s Grand Adventures’ Book Two by Barbara Cairns

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securedownloadEven though I am an adult, I love reading children’s picture books. I especially like books that can teach children about a specific topic. In Gatsby’s Grand Adventures: Book Two, August Renoir’s’ The Apple Seller,’ by Barbara Cairns, children are introduced to a painting of famous artist, Auguste Renoir.

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.

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About Nicole Weaver

Nicole weaver is an award-winning author. Her first trilingual book Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle was published in 2009. Her love for languages and other cultures resulted in publishing the award-winning book, My Sister Is My Best Friend which was published in 2011 by Guardian Angel Publishing. My Sister Is My Best Friend has won the following awards: 2012 Creative Child Awards Program consisting of moms and educators has awarded this book the 2012 PREFERRED CHOICE AWARD Kids Picture Storybooks category. 2012 Children's Literary Classics Seal of Approval 2012 Children's Literary Classics Gold Award Readers' Favorite 5 Star Review Her newest book , My Brother Is My Best Friend was also published by Guardian Angel Publishing, January 2014.
  • Barbara Cairns

    Thank you, Nicole for this very thoughtful review.So nice of you to take the time from your busy schedule. (Book One features a Winslow Homer painting with many other artists to follow.)

  • Nancy Stewart

    Lovely review, Nicole and terrific book, Barbara. A cat lover myself, I’d love to meet Gatsby! Good luck with the two book series, and all best wishes to you both.

  • Donna L Sadd

    This is a great review for an important book, Nicole. I didn’t receive an education in fine art until my first year of college, and think books like Barbara’s could introduce art to young children when it can make an impression to last them through life, and find them seeking art out. Thank you.

  • Nicole Weaver

    A huge thank you to everyone who wrote comments. I appreciate the support. You all rock!

  • Susan hornbach

    Congrats Barbara, it sounds like another great book. Thank you for an informative review Nicole. I wish you great success Barbara with your wonderfully imaginative and educational new book.

  • Margot Finke

    Wonderfully thought out and executed story – and kid friendly to the MAX!! Art takes on a new meaning!!

    Margot Finke
    Books for Kids – Manuscript Critiques

  • Evie Hjartarson

    Great review Nicole. Gatsby is such a charming cat Barb, you really do a wonderful job of introducing children to art.

  • Donna Shepherd

    What a marvelous way to weave interesting facts about art into a picture book! Thanks for the review.

  • Carol J Megge

    Barbara Cairns is delightfully aware of how children learn best. We all love knowing that she really loves teaching in this novel way. Let us hope that it becomes more widespread.

  • Frances

    Fun for children and the adults who read to them!

  • Janet Ann Collins

    Good review of a good book!

  • Kay Danielson

    - and they tickled me !! Have given them to my daughter, a pre-school teacher – and know that her kiddos will just love them !