From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 3-In a play on words that carries throughout the story, Art, a young boy, joyfully tries his hand at all kinds of art. He DRAWS SCRIBBLES THAT SQUIGGLE, SPLOTCHES WITH BLOTCHES, ZIGS and ZAGS, doodles and dogs, and so much more. His creations, rendered in watercolor and crayon, extend from the drizzles on the title page to swirls and curls and Jackson Pollock-like spreads until the doodles become a picture in which Art and his dog blast off for the moon: THERE'S NO STOPPING ART...WHEN ART IS INSPIRED. He falls asleep amid his work and awakens to find it on the refrigerator, PUT THERE BY MOTHER 'CAUSE MOTHER LOVES ART. The rhyming text is brief and takes a backseat to the little boy's exuberant pictures. This story, along with Peter H. Reynolds's The Dot
(Candlewick, 2003), can free up hesitant artists to let their talent shine.-Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT
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PreS-K. McDonnell, creator of the Mutts
comic strip, offers this slim story that owes its concept to Crockett Johnson's classic Harold and the Purple Crayon
(1955). McDonnell begins with wordplay: "This is Art," read the words above an image of a young boy. "And this is art," read the words on the following page, located above a rainbow of watercolor swirls. On the following spreads, McDonnell's rhyming text follows Art, the boy, as he wields his crayons, pencils, and brushes with gleeful abandon, creating joyful swirls, zigzags, and doodles that eventually form a neighborhood scene, which he enters in his dreams when he falls asleep. The story is slender, and the rhymes occasionally seem cloying: "Art stares at the paper and uses his noodle to conjure up a perfect doodle." Peter Reynolds' The Dot
(2003) offers more substantive stories about kids creating art. Still, the scenes of Art at work exude a contagious, freewheeling energy that may inspire children to grab their own crayons and let their imaginations loose on paper. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved