The Art Lesson Author:Tomie dePaola Amazon.com Review — This is a charming exercise in autobiography (one of several) by the great author-illustrator Tomie dePaola. — "Tommy" is consumed with a passion for drawing. Although encouraged by his family, who treat his pictures with respect and decorate their houses and workplaces with them, he encounters misunderstanding and frustration... more » at school. Finally, an art teacher gives him a chance to do his own thing. The Art Lesson is filled with many full-page illustrations in dePaola's inimitably warm, soothing style. It's also packed with the right lessons on individuality and perseverance, especially for children who are already showing a single-minded interest or special talents that put them ahead of their peers. (Ages 4 to 8) --Richard Farr -
From Publishers 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.
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