Sunday, August 10, 2008

Cultivating the Imagination

Bear's Picture by Daniel Pinkwater, illustrated by D.B. Johnson (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2008)

In this newly illustrated edition of the 1972 story of Bear's Picture, Bear is in the middle of creating his work of art when two visitors appear on the scene, declaring, "Bear's can't paint pictures!"

This is a tribute to artistic imagination and confidence, as well as a commentary on art criticism. A fun read-aloud for creative young minds! This will also spark some discussion among older children as to what is art? and who decides. Another fun take on this topic for older children is Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith's Seen Art? (Viking, 2005)

A Day with No Crayons by Elizabeth Rusch, illustrated by Chad Cameron (Rising Moon, 2007)

When Liza's mother takes away her crayons for the day, Liza reacts by stomping through mud, squirting her toothpaste angrily, and heading to the park. Without knowing it, Liza soon creates her own art with the colors around her.

Ms. McCaw Learns to Draw by Kaethe Zemach (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2008)

Dudley Ellington isn't very good at paying attention in school. Yet his caring, dedicated teacher, Ms. McCaw has the patience to explain things until he understands them. The students in her classroom think she knows everything, until one day when she attempts to draw.

That's the day that Dudley Ellington becomes the unlikely star and helps his teacher learn!

Minji's Salon by Eun-hee Choung (Kane/Miller Book Publishers, 2008) *first published in 2007 in South Korea

While Minji's mother visits her local salon, Minji creates a world of beauty all her own. An ode to the power of children's imagination (and their parents' patience), Minji's Salon reminds readers that creativity and play are worldwide phenomena. (from inside book jacket.)

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