The Art Lesson

( 11 )

Overview

Having learned to be creative in drawing pictures at home, young Tommy is dismayed when he goes to school and finds the art lesson there much more regimented.

Having learned to be creative in drawing pictures at home, young Tommy is dismayed when he goes to school and finds the art lesson there much more regimented.

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Overview

Having learned to be creative in drawing pictures at home, young Tommy is dismayed when he goes to school and finds the art lesson there much more regimented.

Having learned to be creative in drawing pictures at home, young Tommy is dismayed when he goes to school and finds the art lesson there much more regimented.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A boy named Tommy loves to draw with his Binney & Smith Crayola crayons, and these pictures hang on his side of the room, in his mother's kitchen, at the barber shop where his father works, in the store of his Irish grandparents and in the home of his Italian grandmother Nana. Tommy? Nana? This work of picture-book fiction is really a gem of an autobiography, and readers familiar with dePaola's work will find wonderful, well-placed clues to his lifetime of artistry among these pages. Tommy starts school, and can't wait for the day when the art teacher comes. But there are a couple of hitches: the paints at school are cracked and powdery (and blow ``right off the paper''), and the art teacher only lets the children have one piece of paper, on which to ``copy'' her drawings. Tommy, who has been told by his aunts (twins, who are artists) that real artists never copy, has a crisis. But his teachers (including Tommy's regular classroom teacher) show themselves to be far more understanding than readers could have predicted, and all ends well. Inventive and revealing, dePaola provides a lyrical blend of text and art. This is an inspired and childlike offering, perhaps one of dePaola's best. Ages 5-8. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Debra Briatico
In this charming story, young Tommy wants to become an artist when he grows up. After learning about his weekly art lessons in first grade, he becomes very excited. This excitement turns to dismay when he realizes that he must follow strict rules in art class. After recognizing his special artistic talents, his teacher offers a compromise that allows Tommy to continue working toward his dream. DePaola's bright illustrations perfectly complement this inspirational tale.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-- Tommy loves to draw. He draws happily through kindergarten, heeding the advice of his big cousins in art school: don't copy, and practice a lot. His admiring family provides appreciation and support, and a box of 64 crayons. School is a let-down: eight-color school crayons, paint that cracks and flakes, one sheet of paper apiece. Then the long-awaited art teacher comes. What a shock: she asks the class to copy her as she draws! Tommy refuses. A compromise is reached: Tommy copies the prescribed drawing and gets another piece of paper for his own picture. The perennial conflict between Individual and Authority, or between Artist and Society, lies behind this anecdote, and it's gratifying to see the small non-conformist accomodated. Everyone can enjoy dePaola's gentle autobiographical evocation of a loving family and a happy obsession. But most kids like to copy, and copying is essential to the discipline of learning. All great artists did it. DePaola's own style is eminently copyable, and this entertaining book shouldn't discourage young artists from drawing a few dePaolas on their way to copying Rubens. --Patricia Dooley, University of Washington, Seattle
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399227615
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/29/1994
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.18 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Tomie dePaola

Best known for his award-winning picture book Strega Nona and for the 26 Fairmount Avenue series of chapter books, Tomie dePaola is one of the most prolific and beloved author/illustrators in the field of children's literature.

Biography

Born in 1934 into a large extended Irish/Italian family, Tomie dePaola received his art education at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute and the California College of Arts & Crafts. Although he always wanted to create children's books, he spent several years applying his talents to the fields of education, theater, and graphic design. In the mid-1960s, he received his first commission to illustrate a children's science book. A year later, he published his first original picture book, The Wonderful Dragon of Timlin. Today, he is one of the most prolific -- and beloved -- author/illustrators in children's literature.

In addition to illustrating stories by other writers, DePaola has created artwork for collections of poetry, nursery rhymes, holiday traditions, and folk and religious tales. But, he is most famous for books of his own creation, especially Strega Nona ("Grandma Witch"), the beloved story of an old woman who uses her magical powers to help the people of her small Italian village. Written in 1975, this Caldecott Honor winner is still delighting children today.

DePaola admits that there are strong autobiographical elements in many of his books (Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs, The Art Lesson, Stagestruck), but nowhere is this more evident than in 26 Fairmount Avenue, a series of charming chapter books based on his Connecticut childhood. Taking its name from the address of his family home, the series captures the experiences and emotions of a young boy growing up in the late 1930s and early '40s in the shadow of World War II. The first book in the series received a 1999 Newbery Honor Award.

DePaola and his work have been recognized with many honors, including the Smithsonian Medal, the Kerlan Award for "singular attainment in children's literature," the Catholic Library Association's Regina Medal, and several awards from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. In 1999, the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts bestowed on dePaola the Lotte Jacobi Living Treasure Award for the body of his work.

Good To Know

  • Tomie dePaola's name is pronounced Tommy de POW-la.

  • Between college and graduate school, dePaola spent a short time in a Benedictine monastery before determining that religious life was not for him.

  • Using a combination of watercolor, tempera, and acrylic, dePaola's artistic style is best described as folk-traditional.

  • DePaola's favorite painters and strongest artistic influences are Matisse, Giotto, and Ben Shahn.
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    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4.5
    ( 11 )
    Rating Distribution

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    (7)

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    (3)

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    Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
    • Anonymous

      Posted February 16, 2001

      The Art Lesson!!!!

      The Art Lesson by Tommie dePaola is a great children's book. It is about a little boy named Tommy who wanted to be an artist when he grew up. He used to draw pictures all the time and sometimes sold them for five cents. When he went to kindergarten he was excited because he thought that he was going to get real art lessons. But as it turned out he didn't get them until first grade. When he entered first grade he got a box of sixty four pack of crayons for his birthday. He had a great time during the art lessons drawing all kinds of pictures.The problem was that his teacher wouldn't let him use his own crayons , so he had to make a special deal with her so he could use them. My favorite part was when he drew all of his friends and when he drew pictures on his sheets. This is a great realistic fiction book, i hope that you will read it. The reason i read this book is because i like drawing and also it makes you think that you are really there.This book is special because it shows you that if you keep Practing at something then you¿ll finally get it. I recommend this book this book to everyone because it is such a great book. This book is like all the other Tommie dePaola books i hope that you will enjoy as much as i did.

      5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted September 26, 2008

      The Art Lesson

      This book helps to show kids that they can have different favorite activities then there friends. It also show that by practicing something can help you follow your dreams. It is a good thing to be creative and unique. The pictures in the book do a very good job of telling the story. I really enjoy this book and believe that it has many lessons that can be learned.

      3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted May 24, 2000

      A must read!

      I play and explore with young children everyday, this book is excellent. Children need the chance for creativity.

      3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted October 5, 2004

      Terrible Message!

      I thought by the various reviews/awards this book has received that it would at least be a 3 out of 5! However this in NOT a book that should be read to children! In class all of the children are proviided w/8 crayons to use on their project & Tommy has brought his box of 64 crayons he got as a birthday present, however he is told by the teacher that he is not allowed to use them because it would not be fair to the other children in class who only have access to 8 crayons. So instead of accepting this Tommy sneaks in the crayons under his shirt (the fact that he snuck them in shows he knows full well he's doing something he's not supposed to) and ends up getting to use them-teaching children it's fine to disobey your teacher. It's also disparraging to art teachers and our public schools-portraying them in a very negative light. The whole 'moral' of the story tells kids to just complain and ignore the rules and you'll get what you want. I had other art educators & mothers read this book and they all agreed it was very poor.

      2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted February 24, 2000

      i think this book is a very good book about art and little boy named tomie

      this book is very good book about art lesson's this book will help kids learn art with this book and understand what tomie had ro learn all about art.

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted July 25, 2009

      The Art Lesson

      I loved this book. It was a reminder to me that children can be affected by the decisions we adults make for them. Imagine how Tomie might have felt if the art teacher had not found a way to let him exercise his creativity and use his own crayons too.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted November 22, 2013

      The art lesson is about where a little boy wants to be an artist

      The art lesson is about where a little boy wants to be an artist when he grows up. Because it was his favorite thing to do. Tommy drew and drew  and he even drew 2 twins .They were beautiful drawings. His mother hung one of his pictures up in her room and his dad put  one up in his Barbra shop.  And one time tommy took a flashlight up under his sheets and started to  draw.  I like this book because I like to paint. Plus i liked where he drew a picture of the two twins. I also like the part where he let his father put 1 of his pictures up at the Barbra shop and let everybody could look at it at the Barbra.  If you like to paint maybe you should look at this book.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted September 4, 2013

      more from this reviewer

      Tomie dePaola is a home and classroom favorite

      I stress art in with my children and in the classroom. Children need to express themselves through many avenues. Currently, society is taking away music, art and outdoor and physical education. Children 0-21 need to draw, paint, sing, dance, run and use their imaginations to explore their world. We need to encourage and support the artistic nature of all children. This book helps children realize how their artistic skills can also benefit the world.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted October 24, 2011

      Excellent read-aloud!

      Precious story, and one children can relate to!

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted January 28, 2005

      a reviewer

      My favorite character in the book is * Tommy, because he is super talented. One time he painted a picture of a goofy pumpkin.

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted December 19, 2010

      No text was provided for this review.

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