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After I got the purchase of "The Baby Sister" I thought I check out the other story by Tommie DePuala; he made a guest appearance on Barney and explained to the kids about his book about "The Art Lesson". Not only it's a great book, but it also explains the life from his childhood, which was really shocking (not in a bad way). I too wanted to be an artist, so that gave me back a little inspiration that I have lost a long time ago.
I bought this for the second grader I was mentoring last year. He was in need of confidence.
At the beginning of the book, I wasn't sure it was good for my kid, as he had some serious behavior issues. By the time we got to the end of the book, it was clear that the message was to believe in oneself and never give up your dreams.
I noticed it was also on the 2nd to 3rd grade summer reading list.
I ordered a copy of Tomie dePaula's The Art Lesson after my seven-year-old daughter raved about him after her teacher read one of his books in class. When the book arrived and I surprised my daughter with it, she hugged me with the strength of Thor because I had given her a book from her favorite author. We sat down and read The Art Lesson together several times, but what was so exciting was that my daughter pointed out how the story reflected the childhood of the author.
Upon closer examination, I recognized that this was a golden opportunity to use this book to teach author's craft and purpose. I decided to use this book to introduce this skill to a middle school ESL class. Initially, I was afraid that they would be insulted that I was using a children's book with them. However, I was pleasantly surprise: many of them had read it in Spanish in their home country, so they possessed background knowledge. Since they had prior knowledge, I was able to expand upon it by introducing how the author crafted the book using specific writing strategies and that his purpose was to reflect his childhood awakening to a life as a writer and artist.
I would definitely recommend this book as a high interest, literacy-enriched text for children; it also is an extraordinary resource for teaching challenging skills such as author's craft and purpose.
Read this story to my kindergarten and first grade students in art class. They really seemed to enjoy the story. It has nice themes of art requiring practice and art being something someone can love and do for their whole life.
I love this book! It sends a valuable message to young people to not give up. Yes sometimes there are adults that stand in the way of the creativity of a child, as the teacher did in this book, but he didn't let that discourage his dreams and desire to be a creative artist! Sends a good message to youngsters.