The Art Lesson (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

The Art Lesson (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

4.4 12
by Tomie dePaola

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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 to be 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 to be much more regimented.

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

Product Details

Demco Media
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.25(w) x 10.25(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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The Art Lesson 4.4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I play and explore with young children everyday, this book is excellent. Children need the chance for creativity.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
MsKristiesClass More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Precious story, and one children can relate to!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
roseread More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
My favorite character in the book is * Tommy, because he is super talented. One time he painted a picture of a goofy pumpkin.