Katie and the Starry Night: read and paint

Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night has captured countless imaginations.

It captures ours.

We learn about Mr Van Gogh, his work, and how he painted with his feelings as well as his eyes,  in kindergarten.

James Mayhew's book Katie and the Starry Night helps introduce children to Starry Night, and some of Van Gogh's other work. We read it, and then picked up our paint q-tips.

Katie and the Starry Night
written and illustrated by James Mayhew
published by Orchard Books, 2012

summary  On one of Katie's adventures with her grandma, they visit a gallery to look at paintings by Vincent Van Gogh.  While she was looking at Starry Night, Grandma dozed off and Katie's adventures began.
She climbed through the picture frame into the painting to claim one of Van Gogh's twinkling stars to show her grandma. But as she climbs back out of the painting, other stars follow her off the painting and into the gallery. Katie can't reach the starts to put them back, and "borrows" a chair,
 ladder and boat
from a group of helpful ladies from other paintings (Noon, Vincent's Chair, Fishing Boats on the Beach, and The Olive Grove) to recapture the elusive stars.
Luckily everything is back where it should be before the gallery attendant comes by and Grandma wakes up.

After reading the book, and learning a bit about Vincent Van Gogh, we were ready to paint.

I loved Messy Little Monster's idea of painting on tin foil. It seemed a perfect fit for a Starry Night creation.  I cut up a cardboard box (Scholastic book order box!), and covered each piece with tin foil. 

The kids created with shades of blue and white paint, a q-tip per colour, and a few extra scattered about for mixing colours as the artists needed. 

Swirls are fun.

In a variety of colours.

Maybe a sky.

I didn't matter that we did not have yellow or orange paint, we can make Mr Van Gogh style stars with blue-purple paint. 

Each artist was inspired to create differently. Each with their own thought process, artistry and charm.

Other Starry Night inspired activities.

Starry Night Sensory Tray - rubber boots and elf shoes
starry night fingerpainting - Imagination Tree
starry night luminaries - The Shabby Creek Cottage
starry night play dough - Twodaloo
transient art - Stimulating Learning with Rachael 


1 comment

  1. Your kids' paintings are beautiful, as always:)

    Interesting note: I was reading about the oldest person EVER, Jeanne Calment (122 years), and she actually met Van Gogh in 1888. She said he was, "dirty, badly dressed and disagreeable." Who knew?


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