Title: The Art Lesson
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, NY
Publication Date: 1989
Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included
Edition: First Edition
Fine in a fine DJ; Great illustrations by de Paola; Stated First; Illustrated boards; 4to; DJ. Bookseller Inventory # 5441
Synopsis: Tommy knows he wants to be an artist when he grows up. He can't wait to get to school and have real art lessons. When Tommy gets to school and finds out that the art lessons are full of "rules", he is surprised and dismayed. How the wise art teacher finds a way to give Tommy the freedom to create and stay within the "rules" makes a wonderfully perceptive picture book about growing up and keeping one's individuality.
Tomie dePaola is the author and illustrator of many beloved books for children, including the Caldecott Honor Book Strega Nona. Fans of all ages will be pleased to hear that The Art Lesson is, in fact, based on the artist's own experiences growing up, and offers a welcome glimpse into his past. This bright picture book is as covered with drawings as the walls of Tommy's parents' and grandparents' houses, and sends an inspirational message to budding artists and individualists. Break out the crayons!
Review: This is a charming exercise in autobiography (one of several) by the great author-illustrator Tomie dePaola. "Tommy" is consumed with a passion for drawing. Although encouraged by his family, who treat his pictures with respect and decorate their houses and workplaces with them, he encounters misunderstanding and frustration at school. Finally, an art teacher gives him a chance to do his own thing. The Art Lesson is filled with many full-page illustrations in dePaola's inimitably warm, soothing style. It's also packed with the right lessons on individuality and perseverance, especially for children who are already showing a single-minded interest or special talents that put them ahead of their peers. (Ages 4 to 8) --Richard Farr
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