Gatsby's Grand Adventure

Book One: Winslow Homer's Snap the Whip

Children - Animals
16 Pages
Reviewed on 04/04/2013
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Author Biography

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ty Mall for Readers' Favorite

"Gatsby’s Grand Adventures" by Barbara Cairns is about a cat, his forays into famous paintings during the night, and the hilarious results if he doesn’t end his shenanigans before the sun comes up. In this book, Gatsby explores Winslow Homer’s painting 'Snap the Whip'. He chases a mouse through a field and around a schoolhouse, almost gets stepped on by boys, and gets chased by a determined dog. Miss Annabelle, who owns the art gallery where Gatsby lives, even thinks she saw him inside a painting. But that couldn’t be true, could it? At the end of this book, there is a biography of the painter, Winslow Homer, as well as a list of websites for those who want to learn more about Homer and art in general.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It portrayed art in a way that, I think, would entertain both young and old, in addition to making them want to learn more about art. Transcending the scope of the intended audience is one of the things that I think makes great writing stand out. And this book accomplished all that by showing me, rather than telling. This book would be a great way to encourage imagination and creativity, as well as interest in art and art history. The illustrations were fun, too. Even without the impressive bios of the author and illustrator, it was clear to me that both are experts at their craft. The choice of an approximate age for this book and the resource section served as great final touches. Can’t wait for more books from this author.