Art Lessons

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Unlike most books designed to teach children how to draw, this provocative picture book focuses on ideas instead of technique. The narrator lives next door to Adrianne, an artist who agrees to give him art lessons. In eight brief chapters, we see them drawing in the studio, outdoors and at the art museum, as Adrianne gently teaches the boy how to see like an artist. When Adrianne shows the boy the river's edge where ``water makes a mirror picture of the houses and trees on the opposite shore,'' she reminds him that `` `an artist must learn to look before he draws.' '' One day the boy feels too sad to draw, and Adrianne tells him that `` `an artist draws in sadness and in joy. Whatever happens, he never stops drawing.' '' Schick's lovely, muted sketches underscore the message of her book: `` `How beautiful it all is,' '' says Adrianne walking through the park. `` `Drawing helps us to see . . . ' '' Ages 5-8. (August)
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4 Adrianne, an artist, offers to teach a young neighbor with an interest in art. As they sketch, she offers words of wisdom: ``an artist must learn to look before he draws,'' ``an artist draws in sadness and in joy.'' Somehow they don't come across as inspiring. There also is a subtle bias toward a realistic adult perspective. When both the child and Adrianne draw portraits of each other, it is Adrianne's that is shown as treasured and framed in the boy's home. When they visit the zoo, the boy regrets choosing tigers to draw when he sees Adrianne's sketch of flowers. Resolving to draw flowers next time, he finds they are not in bloom, and says that now he understands why she chose to draw them before. Beauty may be fleeting, but what child wouldn't be more interested in drawing something like tigers at a zoo? The book also points up the fragility of the child's confidence in his work as he develops. A good art teacher would encourage the child in his work while introducing him to the many possibilities for self expression within art. When Adrianne offers to teach him for free ``Just because we're friends,'' he might be better off to ask about her elementary art education credentials. Schick's realistic pencil drawings surpass the text. Refer children instead to M. B. Goffstein's An Artist (Harper, 1980) and Miriam Cohen's more encouraging No Good in Art (Greenwillow, 1980). Judith Gloyer, Milwaukee Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688051204
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/1/1987
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years

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