Gaspard on Vacation by Anne Gutman is a story about a dog who was on vacation with his family but got bored visiting museums in Venice. So he took off on an adventure through the canals. Of course we took the opportunity to talk about not going off on your own, staying with mommy and daddy, because you don't want to get lost like Gaspard inevitably did. At first I wasn't fond of the illustrations, but I began to look more closely at them and really started to appreciate the reflections that were painted on several pages.
Our second Go-Along book was The Painter's Cat by Sharon Wooding. Micio is a cat who feels neglected by his owner who is extremely busy with his work. Micio ends up roaming the streets of Venice of the 15th or 16th century. He has to struggle to survive, competing against other stray cats and dealing with foul weather. One night he sees familiar boots, those belonging to the owner's apprentice and follows him home, to find that he was more important than he knew. The last page of the book explains that this is a make believe story about a famous painting painted by Lorenzo Lotto. The illustrations were beautiful and lifelike with browns being very prominent.