Painted Dreams

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Using whatever she can find -- a scrap of wastepaper, a bit of charcoal -- Ti Marie makes beautiful art. If only she had real paint and clean white canvas, what wonderful pictures she could paint then! Mama says there is no money for such things, but Ti Marie finds a surprising way to make her dreams come true. This contemporary story set in Haiti celebrates the joy of creativity.

Karen Lynn Williams lives in...

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Overview

Using whatever she can find -- a scrap of wastepaper, a bit of charcoal -- Ti Marie makes beautiful art. If only she had real paint and clean white canvas, what wonderful pictures she could paint then! Mama says there is no money for such things, but Ti Marie finds a surprising way to make her dreams come true. This contemporary story set in Haiti celebrates the joy of creativity.

Karen Lynn Williams lives in Pittsburgh.

Because her Haitian family is too poor to be able to buy paints for her, eight-year-old Ti Marie finds her own way to create pictures that make the heart sing.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An imaginative Haitian girl takes the first step toward becoming an artist in this uneven but cheery tale from the author and artist of Galimoto. Lacking paints, brushes and paper, Ti Marie uses an orange brick, white stone and black charcoal to draw pictures on the cement wall of her modest house. She admires the vivid paintings created by the local bocor, or voodoo priest, and rummages through his trash to salvage almost empty paint tubes and scrap paper. Then, with goat hairs and chicken feathers for brushes, the child paints pictures on the wall behind her mother's neglected vegetable stand at the marketplace, thereby attracting customers. The tale's lesson about the rewards of resourcefulness and determination is incontestable, yet Williams's narrative is overwritten and sometimes careless: on a single page, she writes that the bocor's houses "were painted with many colorful designs that made the heart pound like a drum" and that Ti Marie "with colors and brushes... could make pictures that made your heart sing." Stock's watercolor illustrations are technically very accomplished but uncharacteristically sluggish. The best moments are her smooth and sunny juxtapositioning of Ti Marie's childlike drawings within polished scenes of island life. An uplifting tale about making something out of nothing. Ages 5-up. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
Ti Marie, an eight-year-old Haitian girl, turns her dreams into drawings using any materials she can find. Her family cannot afford real paints like the village priest uses, although Ti Marie longs for them. One day while helping her mother sell fruits and vegetables in the market, Ti Marie dreams up an idea to help bring business to the family fruit stand. She recovers some nearly spent paint tubes from the village priest's garbage, and paints beautiful pictures on the wall behind her family's stand. Many villagers come to view the paintings, and eventually buy the fruits and vegetables. Even the village priest comes, and speaks glowingly of her talent. Beautifully written with some native vocabulary, and colorfully illustrated, the story depicts the universality of young peoples' dreams.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Eight-year-old Ti Marie, a Haitian girl, longs to be an artist. At every opportunity she draws with the meager means she has, using such items as red brick, moss, and charcoal to create her pictures. She dreams of having real paints, brushes, and canvas-supplies her parents can't afford. After observing the colorful painting adorning the buildings in the yard of the artist Msie Antoine, who is also a powerful priest and healer, the girl raids his trash after dark, turning up a bit of precious paint in the bottom of discarded tubes. She uses it, along with her more rudimentary drawing tools, to spruce up the wall behind the dull and scantily trafficked area in the marketplace where her mother peddles her vegetables. Ti Marie's pictures become the talk of the village, drawing attention to her mother's stand as well as compliments from many, including Msie Antoine. As they did in Galimoto (Lothrop, 1990), this author and illustrator gently and deftly portray a child with few material goods but with plenty of hope, dreams, and ingenuity.-Tom S. Hurlburt, La Crosse Public Library, WI
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
Eight-year old Ti Marie....proves that her art has commercial value as well as beauty. As does the art of this appealing book. -- The New York Times
Kirkus Reviews
Paint scavenged from a garbage pile, bits of red brick and white rocks, and brushes painstakingly made from chicken feathers and goat hairs are the only tools Ti Marie can afford for her works of art. Determined and creative despite her family's poverty, she discovers that the cement wall at the local marketplace makes a perfect easel for her lush and intricate paintings and also attracts a welcome crowd of customer to the stall where Mama sells tomatoes and onions. Contemporary Haiti provides the backdrop for Ti Marie's struggle to create beauty and joy in an impoverished village. Stock's combines sophistication with childlike strokes of watercolor to give an eye-opening glimpseþas does her note at the endþinto the culture of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688139018
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/1998
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 560L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

When Karen Lynn Williams was growing up in New Haven, Connecticut, her dream was to become the youngest novelist ever. At the age of ten, she formed a writing group with some of her friends. They would lounge around on pillows and in old stuffed chairs in her basement and write for hours. When Karen hadn't produced the hoped-for novel by the age of twelve, she gave up on her dream of early publication, but not on writing. Although it took longer than she initially thought it would, eventually Karen became the award-winning author of such books as Baseball and Butterflies (a novel) and Galimoto and Painted Dreams, both picture books illustrated by Catherine Stock. Karen Lynn Williams lives with her husband, Steven, and their children, Peter, Christopher, Rachel, and Jonathan, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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