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Class Artist
     

Class Artist

5.0 1
by G. Brian Karas
 

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Fred has big plans for his art project. Wonderful plans. Secret plans. And a whole week to paint and draw and cut and glue until everything is just right.

But as the week goes by, Fred's big plans turn into Fred's big disaster. Sometimes, as Fred discovers, seeing something in your mind and putting it down on paper are not the same.

All those who have ever

Overview

Fred has big plans for his art project. Wonderful plans. Secret plans. And a whole week to paint and draw and cut and glue until everything is just right.

But as the week goes by, Fred's big plans turn into Fred's big disaster. Sometimes, as Fred discovers, seeing something in your mind and putting it down on paper are not the same.

All those who have ever been bewildered by creatiyity—and rescued by inspiration—will recognize themselves in Fred ... the class artist who could only have come from the inspired and creative G. Brian Karas.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
According to the flap copy, Karas's (Home on the Bayou: A Cowboy's Story) own elementary-school experience with a difficult art project inspired this tale, which portrays a classroom episode that many readers will recognize. From the start, the narrative has a real-life ring. The story opens after his first day of school, as a frustrated Fred tells his older sister, Martha, "Everyone says I can't even draw a straight line." When she asks, "Who's everyone?" Fred replies, "Frances," referring to the class noodge. Though Martha gives her sibling a quick drawing lesson that boosts his confidence, his teacher then assigns an art project that stymies him. Fred repeatedly bungles the ambitious project he tackles to create a life-size tipi and has nothing to show the class on the day the assignment is due. "I give up being an artist," announces the discouraged lad; the accompanying illustration shows him enveloped by darkness, a black cloud over his head. When his teacher suggests that he draw a picture of how he feels, the boy draws the black cloud over his tipi, which spurs a series of pictures that form a pastoral mural. His masterpiece impresses all of his peers (even Frances) and earns him the label specified in the book's title. Stylized, cartoon-like art and some creative arrangement of type keep the mood light. With understatement and subtle humor, Karas neatly delivers a lesson on perseverance and the importance of believing in one's abilities. Ages 5-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Fred comes home from the first day of school depressed that "everyone" (that is, one snotty classmate) has told him he can't even draw a straight line. His older sister teaches him to draw a highly stylized Pilgrim, and Pilgrim drawings quickly become Fred's specialty. But when a special week-long art project is assigned, Fred burns to try something more ambitious—"a real tipi. Big enough to sit in, with paintings on the walls." As the week progresses, however, Fred is more and more daunted by what he has undertaken, and when sharing time arrives on the big day, Fred has nothing to show but a tiny, makeshift, last-minute effort. His teacher suggests that he draw a picture of how he feels, and Fred ends up transforming his initial shame into an entire wall full of dramatic and colorful pictures, which amaze his classmates and launch his "career as class artist." Karas has captured all the ecstatic and agonizing ups-and-downs of the artist's life in his simple, expressive, cartoon-like drawings. Struggling artists everywhere will identify with Fred and cheer him on to the story's enormously satisfying conclusion. 2001, Greenwillow Books, $15.95. Ages 5 up. Reviewer:Claudia Mills
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Fred likes to draw pilgrims. In fact, he only draws pilgrims. Lots of them. However, when his teacher gives the students an entire week to create anything they want, the boy decides to make a tipi, one that he can sit in, with real drawings on the walls. Wanting to keep his project a secret, he asks for no assistance and struggles, bewildered as to how to proceed. When it's time for the children to share their projects, Fred sneaks off into a corner and cuts a small, one-dimensional tipi out of some plain white paper. After his teacher criticizes his weeklong effort, he sulks at his desk. He decides to give up on being an artist-until his teacher urges him to "draw a picture of how you feel." Since Fred feels miserable, he draws a large black cloud, which looks like smoke, so he glues his tipi under it. Looking as if it is now on fire, his tipi suddenly flames his creativity, and when circle time is over, the students discover that their classmate has been busy creating a colorful mural. The story offers a positive lesson in determination and creativity. Karas's mixed-media (gouache, watercolors, acrylics, and pencil) illustrations convey the boy's emotions, although they hover at times between looking either unfinished or too cluttered. Fred's personality, however, is aptly depicted, and frustrated artists everywhere will find a friend in him.-Lisa Gangemi Krapp, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688178147
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/28/2001
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.02(w) x 9.94(h) x 0.36(d)
Lexile:
AD200L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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Class Artist 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fred wanted to be an artist. His sister showed him how to make pilgrims. He didn't know how to make a tipi for his art project. He ends up drawing lots of pictures and discovers he can be an artist. I think kids in grades one to three would like this book.