Sunday, May 3, 2009

Summer Reading Book Spotlight "Art" by Patrick McDonnell

The summer reading theme this year is not only about the importance of literacy. It is also about showing children the power of imagination and creative expression. As librarians, we are trying to give them the power to engage in their imagination not only through thoughtful and inspiring words and artful illustrations, but also through active creation and participation. We are trying to give the youth of DC a forum to unleash their vision and the tools to harness and actualize their creative power. Through art, dance, music, and story we hope to enthrall and amaze everyone who participates in the summer reading program. I'm quite sure they will entrhall and amaze me as I see them reach their reading goals, create beautiful art, sing their hearts out, and have a great time.

As the summer reading progam has just begun, I realize now is the perfect time to assess the collection and find some books that truly embody the spirit of this year's summer reading theme. One such book I found is "Art" by Patrick Mcdonnell. This picture book is about a boy named Art who loves art. He loves to scribble and squiggle, zig and zag, doodle and dream. He creates worlds with his art. Readers can see power in the simple beauty of a child's art, really of any art. I so LOVE the enthusiasm of the boy in this book. "Art draws and draws till he flops in a heap." Now that is dedication! The end of the story shows Art being gently hugged by his mother as his art is displayed proudly on the fridge. For a budding artist, the small gesture of hanging Art's creations on the fridge is equal to all the greatest accolades from all the most respected art critics in all the universe. It is a gesture of love and of sincere apprecation. I'm sure Art will continue to scribble and squiggle, zig and zag, doodle and dream. Will you?

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