Begin at the Beginning: A Little Artist Learns about Life

Begin at the Beginning: A Little Artist Learns about Life

by Amy Schwartz
     
 

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Sara has had a terrible day, and to top it off, her teacher has chosen her to create the most wonderful painting for the second -- grade art show. Sara decides to paint the entire universe, but how does she begin to paint something that is so big?

Everyone has advice for Sara, but it is up to her to figure out how to begin. Sara discovers that

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Overview

Sara has had a terrible day, and to top it off, her teacher has chosen her to create the most wonderful painting for the second -- grade art show. Sara decides to paint the entire universe, but how does she begin to paint something that is so big?

Everyone has advice for Sara, but it is up to her to figure out how to begin. Sara discovers that procrastination and creative block are part of the process of starting her picture, as any artist knows.

Begin at the Beginning offers a universal message about creativity and how every little artist experiences life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Amy Schwartz's Begin at the Beginning: A Little Artist Learns About Life, first published in 1983, is as relevant as ever in its simple lesson about where creativity originates-within oneself. Schwartz's fine black line and gently hued watercolors convey familial bonds and young Sara's growing confidence. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Sara is in a quandary, one familiar to anyone who has ever attempted a creative project. To cap off a very frustrating day, her teacher has assigned her to paint a picture for the class—"something wonderful." What should it be? Her first idea is to paint the tree outside her window, but Sara rejects that as too simple. She fortifies herself with several peanut butter sandwiches, goes through an elaborate preparatory ritual with her painting materials, and eventually dreams up an ambitious painting that will encompass everything in the universe and deeply impress her classmates. The reader quickly realizes that Sara's efforts will be doomed by their very extravagance. Her ultimate solution, only reached as night falls, comes as no surprise, but it does bring the story to a satisfying, if predictable close. Schwartz has returned to this story more than twenty years after its original publication, creating colorful new illustrations which help keep the simple story from being too preachy. Many youngsters will see themselves in Sara, and are sure to recognize her dilemma. This is a charming tale with a built-in moral that deserves to be shared with a new generation. 2005 (orig. 1983), Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, and Ages 4 to 7.
—Michele Tremaine
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-First published in 1983, this book has new illustrations but retains the message of the original-that sometimes one's first inspiration is the best. Asked to submit a painting for an art show, Sara experiences "artist's block" and becomes overwhelmed by vast possibilities and the eager advice of her family. Perhaps painting the entire universe on a single sheet of paper is not such an easy plan of action. Procrastination creates greater obstacles; eating two butter-and-jelly sandwiches, three chocolate-covered graham crackers, and a pretzel makes a nice diversion, but doesn't complete an original masterpiece. The need for independence in personal decisions and creativity comes across loud and clear as Sara's mother reminds her to "begin at the beginning...the universe is only people like you and me-." Appropriately simple pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations frame Sara's world. This gentle, supportive message for young art students or weekend doodlers is suitable for all libraries.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The 1983 story of Sara, a budding artist with a challenging school art project, has been given a modern, colorful, spacious new look. A thinner, older-looking Sara in shorts, T-shirt and sneakers with backpack in tow, arrives home from school and is greeted by her youthful-looking, slim mom dressed in jeans while preparing cookie batter. Schwartz has surrounded her original text with soft pastel hues reflecting both Sara's home life and imaginary scenes concerning her artistic confidence, frustration and creative energy. Lime green end papers sprinkled with drawings of art supplies and a little girl's planetary vision of the universe enfold a well-designed layout of words and perceptive illustrations against plenty of white space delineating Sara's thought process as she attempts to create her painting. A refreshing update for a timeless story about a child's eagerness to succeed, encouraged by an insightful parent with basic love and understanding advice. Sure to become a new classic. (Picture book. 3-6)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060001124
Publisher:
Katherine Tegen Books
Publication date:
06/14/2005
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

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