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Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/15/2010 *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. - Copyright 2010 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2010 K-Gr 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 - Copyright 2010 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 05/01/2010 A budding young artist, Bridget “liked to draw as much as other kids liked ice cream.” She seems unstoppable, until one day she loses her favorite “art supply”-her floppy black beret. Convinced it’s taken her artistic ability away with it, she sadly forswears the brush/crayons/markers, until her little sister’s request for help with a sign for her lemonade stand (“It’s not a drawing, its just a sign”) lures Bridget back into the artistic arena. Lichtenfeld takes this story beyond a predictable spirit-was-in-you-all-along tale by providing a respectful, age-appropriate acknowledgment of the fickleness of the artistic muse; there’s even a sidebar panel sequence of good ideas for getting beyond artist’s block (“Make up a funny animal. . . . Make a scribble then turn it into something”). Touches of humor, especially in the in-art dialogue (sometimes contributed by a passing bunny), keep the energy level high, and a concluding spread gives some specific art history references to inspire young artists. The mixed-media illustrations, mostly watercolor and colored pencil structured by neat yet informal black lines, are particularly effective at conveying the lightsome joys of painting en plein air; the compositions are tightly paced, with full-page scenes interspersed with vignettes and panel sequences. The kids who saw themselves in Karas’ Class Artist (BCCB 9/01) will find a kindred spirit in Bridget, and they’ll be relieved by the reassurance that their art is always there waiting for them, even when it seems out of reach. DS - Copyright 2010 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.