Title: Emily’s Art

Author/Illustrator: Peter Catalanotto

Publisher: New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2001.

Genre: Picture book, fiction

Audience Age: 5 – 8

Theme: Imagination, creativity, art, drawing, individuality, talent, effect of being misunderstood, concept of “best”, self-esteem, criticism

Opening Sentences:“What else could a contest be?”

“To see who is the best,” said Sage.

Ms. Fair nodded. “That’s right. Next Friday the school is having an art contest. We’re all going to paint pictures to hang in the gym. Prize ribbons will be given to the best painting in each grade.”

Synopsis: Emily is arguably the best artist in her class, but when the judge of an art contest thinks Emily’s picture of her long-eared dog is of a rabbit, she decides to stop drawing. She learns to accept herself and to be proud of her talent – and her teacher learns in the process as well. The book begins with an art contest to decide who is best, and ends with an art party to celebrate all the artists in the class.

Activities/Resources: Interesting discussion starters for using Emily’s Art in Teaching Children Philosophy.

After discussing the book, children could be encouraged to draw their own art and have their own art party, celebrating the unique talents of each of them.

Information about the author can be found at this link: Peter Catalanotto

Availability: Available in paperback.

# 8 in Perfect Picture Book Fridays. See all this week’s Perfect Picture Books at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog, or find the entire listing at her Perfect Picture Books tag on her blog.

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