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|Polka Dot Penguin Pottery|
Author: Look, Lenore
A pottery shop and the encouragement of family and friends provides Aspen creativity to paint something beautiful and to get past her writer's block.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.10
Points: .5 Quiz: 144089
Common Core Standards
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Craft & Structure
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 1 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 1.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 1 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 1.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 1 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 1.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 2 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 2.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 2 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 2.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 2 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
School Library Journal (10/01/11)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (09/11)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2011 Aspen is suffering from serious writer’s block, so her beloved grandparents take her out for a change of scene to a paint-your-own-pottery place. Initially it looks like writer’s block is also pottery-painter’s block (“I turn my egg over and over; it is blank, like a piece of paper”), despite the busy artistry of the regulars around Aspen; worse still, once she touches brush to pottery she’s convinced that she’s ruined everything right from the get-go. Her friend Ivy then offers her valuable advice-“You can only make a masterpiece if you’re willing to make a mess”-and Aspen rises above her perfectionism to create something wonderful in a breakthrough that extends to her writing as well. The daunting fear of failure knows few barriers, so kids won’t have to be young artists or writers to relate to Aspen’s quandary; creative types, however, will be particularly likely to sympathize with the offputting challenge of the blank page and canvas. Look’s story takes the point beyond didacticism, offering a picturesque, smoothly told tale that makes it clear Aspen is generally leading a fine and cozy life but that her artistry is genuinely important to her. The book’s vertical orientation is more playful variation than necessary element, but Heo’s art (employing, according to a note, oil, pencil, and collage) is an apt medium for exploring the tension between creativity and perfectionism. Her trim and tidy figures are counterpointed with touches of pattern in scenes of designerly clarity, yet backgrounds teem, in Heo’s familiar style, with small elements that here represent possibility, mood, and opinion. A worthy successor to Karas’ The Class Artist (BCCB 9/01), this is a title that will be useful in helping kids negotiate with their perfectionist demons-and in spurring attendance at pottery studios. DS - Copyright 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2011 Gr 1–3—Aspen is a young writer who hasn't been able to compose for awhile now; though she climbs to her tree house, dons her writing clothes, stuffs her pockets with crackers, and sits quietly awaiting inspiration, ideas just do not come. Her grandparents attempt to allay her stymied imagination by taking her to a pottery-painting studio. The child finds she also has the same aggravating problem getting started with this new form of creativity. Only after another studio participant imparts gentle words of wisdom does Aspen allow herself to be willing to make a mess, which ignites her imagination for both painting and writing. Naïve-style oil, pencil, and collage illustrations are unpredictably laid out in a top-to-bottom format rather than side-to-side. The girl's frustration and eventual pleasure as she works through her writer's and painter's blocks are revealed in single-page and full-spread pictures. Good motivation for children who need to activate their artistic side.—Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.