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Painted Dreams Hardcover – August 19, 1998

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Hardcover, August 19, 1998
$74.29 $17.06

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers 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.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 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
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 560L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (August 19, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688139019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688139018
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,307,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful story by Karen Lynn Williams with exquisite watercolor drawings by Catherine Stock telling the story of a resource poor, but imagination-rich little girl in Haiti who uses the things around her to paint (bricks, feathers) until she has an opportunity to have more people see her work.

The paintings within paintings concept is beautiful, especially as it follows the steps of a budding girl artist within the context of her family and their livelihood. Children will engage with the beautiful watercolors and story of people who make more with less.
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Format: Hardcover
I've owned and used this story over many years in my 1st grade classroom, used more like it in days when we were allowed literature and the ability to talk about the world. I thought today (as I am out on leave with health issues) I'd order other books to join it, so I can put together a book box about Haiti. This will be my start. I'm sure children would like to read about this place that has now been so terrifically crushed by disaster on top of the weight it already bore in terms of poverty, infrastructure collapse, and in general as open sore on all our humanity.
I thought the story connected to something I know of young children, they like to express, create, and in almost any situation respond artistically in amazing ways.
I spent the day watching You Tubes on what life has really been like for children in Haiti. It isn't something I relate so much to the images of the book, but in the spirit of the people-yes-I see that.
I would imagine that this author would not mind if I suggest donating to the relief efforts.
I definitely know this would be doing something. But I think within schools we can spend time learning about the people, this horrible recent event, and trying to connect as we can to assist an utterly unbelievable situation.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a beautiful book. A bit long for my student's attention span, but that taking nothing away from the books content.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Is a really good book!!! Easy for kids to learn. I will recommend this book to other family, THE PICTURE ARE GREAT
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a Christian and would not have purchased this book if I knew it had a Voodoo doctor. The children in the book are afraid of the Voodoo doctor but it later portrays him as friendly. He tells the girl in the story her painting talent is a "gift from the spirits". I would say it was a gift from God. Voodoo is evil. (We adopted four children from Haiti. The older children in the orphanage were afraid of Voodoo. One of our daughters told us every time their neighbor practiced Voodoo, her birth mother started praying to Jesus.) I wish Voodoo wasn't in the book, or at least not portrayed in a positive manner. My daughter is very uncomfortable with this book.
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