Katie's Picture Show

Age Range: 5 - 11

Katie visits the gallery for the first time with Grandma and discovers that art is wonderfully exciting, especially when five famous paintings come alive for her! Join the ever-curious Katie as she discovers that art can be fantastic fun - particularly when you step into the world inside the frame...

Book Author: James Mayhew

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Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Write a biography of one of the artists included in the story.
  • Use the text to make your own play script. Rehearse and perform this to others.
  • Choose a famous painting and write a story about what might happen if you could step inside it.
  • Imagine that you are standing inside a famous painting. Describe how your senses are affected. What can you see / smell / hear / taste / touch?
  • Find out about some famous pictures and create a 'Children's Guide' wi east to read information about them.


  • Imagine that you are creating a new art gallery. How much would you charge for entrance? What would you sell in the gift shop / cafe? How much money would you make in a week, if there were 100 visitors per day?
  • Find out when the different paintings were made. Work out how many years ago this was.
  • Look at the shapes within the picture 'Dynamic Suprematism'. What shapes can you see? Can you describe their properties?


  • Use Google Maps to find the location of art galleries around the world. Are there any close to where you live?
  • Use graphical modelling software to design a layout for a new art gallery. Which different areas / rooms would you have?
  • Visit the websites of different art galleries. Could you use these to go on a virtual tour?


  • Find out about the pictures mentioned in the story. Who painted them? When / how / where were they created?
  • Imagine that you could set up an art gallery using any famous artwork. Which ones would you choose? Why would you pick them?
  • Go on a visit to an art gallery if possible. Which painting was your favourite? Why?
  • Set up an art gallery at your school showing the children's art work.
  • Draw a picture from the point of view of a person in a famous painting. What are they looking at? Wo is looking at them?
  • Look at the different colours and shades in the illustrations. Can you recreate these colours / shades using different art materials?
  • Katie looks at the painting 'Tropical Storm with a Tiger' by Henri Rousseau. Imagine how this painting might look with a different type if weather. Choose another famous painting and recreate it with different environmental conditions.
  • Ask a group of friends to all draw / paint a picture of the same thing. Compare your pictures and see how all of them are different.
  • Watch this video in which the author / illustrator talks about his love of painting and drawing:


  • Find out about famous artists and plot where they have lived in a map.


  • Madame Moitessier speaks French in one part of the story. Find out the meaning of what she says. Could you make up a conversation between her and Katie, in French?


  • Imagine what the people in the paintings are feeling.


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