Sunday, February 6, 2011
Bridget's Beret, written and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. Henry Holt, H B Fenn. 2010. $19.99 ages 5 and up
she'd put on her beret and adjust it until
it looked just right. It had to have that
certain je ne sais quoi. She had no
idea what that meant, but she knew
all Great Artists needed it to make art."
Bridget is a delightful girl, inspired to create her art with purpose and without distraction. She doesn't even 'wanna lick' of ice cream, she is so intent on what she is doing. She loves the outdoors and provides brilliant decor for her family's kitchen walls and doors.
But, she has a crutch. She can only paint or draw when she is wearing her beret. When a big gust of wind comes along and carries it away, she is crushed. Her search takes her everywhere in the neighborhood, causes her to file a police report and post reward posters. And she cannot draw! She is rife with solutions; but, nothing works! No inspiration. Nothing helps:
"Her friend Madeline invited her to draw,
but Bridget said, "I can't draw, I have artist's block."
"I have blocks, too, " said Madeline,
"but I can still draw."
A request from her sister for a lemonade stand sign gets the 'juices' flowing and soon Bridget the artist is back at work. The neighbors notice and are thankful. Bridget is focused and productive.
A flyleaf description of the creator of this fine book says this:
"Tom Lichtenheld is drawn to drawing. And puns. And alliteration. Ever since he discovered that creating children's books lets him get away with all three at once, he's been in hog heaven." Indeed!
The art is captivating and varied. He uses differing perspectives, spot designs, panels and wonderful expression to create this charming and humorous book. He explains artist's block in a side panel and includes in the back matter a double page spread he calls 'How to Start Your Art', an awesome introduction to well-known artists and their work, with suggestions for techniques that budding artists might want to try.