From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3—Bridget loves to draw, but she needs her black artist's beret as her muse. One day as she is outdoors working, it flies off into the wind, and she believes that her inspiration has flown with it. Other hats don't help and she stops drawing. But when her little sister begs her to make a sign for a lemonade stand, Bridget agrees. Once she starts painting, she finds that the art was inside her all along; in fact, her new paintings are more sophisticated and draw on the works of recognizable artists. Lichtenheld's ink, colored pencil, and watercolor cartoon illustrations, heavy on line and filled with childlike drawings, add humor and character to the story. Combined with Peter Reynolds's The Dot
(2003) and Ish
(2004, both Candlewick), the ideas for inspiration that are included in the back matter would work well for a lesson on artistic expression.—Angela J. Reynolds, Annapolis Valley Regional Library, Bridgetown, NS, Canada
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*Starred Review* Lichtenheld’s last successful effort, Duck! Rabbit! (2009), authored by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, was delightful, but more concept than story. Here, he offers a real tale to go along with a clever idea. Bridget loves drawing, but she feels what’s most important to her artistic sense is her black beret. So when the wind blows it away, Bridget is stricken. She puts up posters and files a “Missing Beret” report, but to no avail. Having lost her hat, Bridget also loses her ability to draw. One hysterical spread shows her trying on other hats to see if they inspire. A cowboy hat (“Draw, partner!”). A propeller beanie (“How uplifting”). Nope, she has “artist’s block” (a fine sidebar explains just what that is). When her sister asks Bridget to make signs for her lemonade stand, Bridget agrees to put words on paper, but no pictures. Yet that o in lemonade tempts her to color it yellow and add a leaf. Pretty soon she is drawing signs that pay homage to great artists—she has got her artistic mojo back. And her beret turns up, too. This smart, saucy book, with its spacious cartoon-style art, is both a spur to artistic endeavor and a message about inspiration and hard work. Yet the motivations are cocooned by a crackin’ good tale and tempered by a full-faceted heroine. Tips for readers about creating their own art neatly complete an already strong package that can easily be worked into the curriculum. Grades K-2. --Ilene Cooper