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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the teacher in this story helps his student overcome her perfectionism and insecurity with artwork --- and she in turn inspires others.
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What's the Story?
Vashti is convinced that she cannot draw. When her art teacher says, "just make a mark and see where it takes you," the girl stabs at the paper in fury, leaving a distinct dot. The teacher tells her to sign it and turn it in. Next day, Vashti sees her "drawing" hung on the wall in a gilded frame. She decides that she can do a better dot than that and ends up creating a whole exhibit of her dots. Her career as an artist has begun.
Is It Any Good?
Focusing on perfectionism and insecurity as well as artistic process, the author shows in a humorous and kind way that getting started can be the hardest part in creative endeavor. With expressive illustrations in watercolor, ink, and tea, this elegantly designed book is profound in its simplicity. Showing the patience and detachment of a Sufi, the art teacher quietly but clearly shows the student that art (and by extension, all endeavors) can begin anywhere if a single first step is taken.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about insecurity. Why does Vashti think she can't draw? How does her teacher help her get started? Are there things you feel you aren't any good at? How could you get started?
- Author: Peter H. Reynolds
- Illustrator: Peter H. Reynolds
- Genre: Picture Book
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Candlewick Press
- Publication date: November 17, 2003
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 4 - 7
- Number of pages: 32
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
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