Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Does it Have to be Art or Academics?


Trisha spends time with her artistic grandma and knows that she wants to become an artist. Unfortunately, art is taught on a cart at her school, so resources are limited. Her teacher sees something in Trisha’s work and recommends her for a special class taught by Miss Violet Chew. When Trisha gets into the class, she is inspired and learns to appreciate art in a whole new way. It brightens her spirit and her world begins to open up to her. She has always been a struggling student, but Miss Chew allows her extra time for tests, to help her succeed. 

When tragedy strikes and her teacher is out for an extended time, a substitute teacher steps in. The substitute tells Trisha that she is wasting her time on art, when she could be spending her time studying, and refuses to give Trisha extra time for tests. Now, the art class is in jeopardy. Will Trisha be able to continue her lessons with Mrs. Chew? Is there any way for her to juggle her academics and her passion for art? Can people only have one path to success? You will have to journey with Trisha to uncover how things turn out!


Patricia Polacco continues to amaze me. Most of her books are based on her life, or the life of her relatives. The drawings that accompany her stories have a unique style, and I can now recognize her illustrations right away. So far, I have been able to connect to all of her characters, whether I have been in their shoes or not. Reading the newest book about Trisha, The Art of Miss Chew, I couldn’t help but root for her. I hate to see anyone’s dreams dashed by others, especially adults. Drawing is something that I struggle with and continue to work on. I was so happy for Trisha when she got into the art program, and I loved her teacher, Mrs. Chew. Teachers can make such a difference in their students’ lives and watching things unfold kept me turning the pages. With the guidance of special teachers, we can all learn to look at the world in ways we never thought possible. I recommend this book to people of all ages because we all need a little magic in our lives, and we need people in our corner cheering us on. Art is so subjective and people look at the same pieces through the lenses of their own experiences. If you haven’t read this book, then you need to pick it up to see the ways that art can help someone discover who they are. You will be reminded of the teachers who have helped you along the way.  This is a book you will want to read over and over again, and the pictures will speak to you!
Has anyone else read The Art of Miss Chew? Or have you read another book by Patricia Polacco (We are loving her books, if you couldn't tell)? What did you think? 

Stop by Friday, May 17th for a chance to read an interview with this talented author and illustrator!
Happy Reading! ~L

20 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great read with some tremendous illustrations. Though never very talented I always loved arts and crafts at school and was never happier than when it involved glitter and glue.

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    1. Petty- It is a great read and I love the illustrations. Glitter is such fun! ~L

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  2. What a wonderful book! Wish I'd have read it when I was 15. I might've given my art a real go. :( At that age, I dreamed of illustrating comic books. I still paint and draw (and now, do a little graphic art, too), but it's definitely a hobby.

    Luckily, I 'discovered' writing later on in life. I've made it my artistic 'non-hobby'. :)

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    1. E.J.- It is a wonderful book! I think it is a great book for kids. I am so glad you discovered writing and can indulge your creative side. Awesome that you still draw and paint. Who knows- a comic book could still be in your future. :) ~L

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  3. This sounds like a great book after my own heart. I always loved art more than any other class and do appreciate those in my life who encouraged me to pursue it throughout my life. Painting is still one of my favorite pastimes. Writing is the other. Creative gardening comes in a close third.

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    1. Anna- I love that you painting is still one of your favorite pastimes. It sounds like you have three fabulous creative outlets! I think this is a book you will love. :) ~L

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  4. I know...her books are always lovely in about a hundred different ways!

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  5. What a lovely story! Kids (and adults too!) need to be shown/taught/allowed to realize their dreams are individual and reachable! Squashing anyone is despicable!

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    1. Jemi- It is! I think it is a book that will inspire people to believe in themselves and follow their dreams. :) ~L

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  6. This sounds absolutely lovely! I love a good teacher story, too, because they're sooo important! (I may be a bit biased there though!)

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    1. Meradeth- It is! I love teacher stories too! Teachers help to inspire and encourage us. :) ~L

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  7. Patricia Polacco is soooo super fantastical! Our one and only girl is a lover of art. She thinks that's what she wants to major in. She is really good too. I gotta go get this. It's time for a trip to town. I guess we know one stop I'll be making, don't we?? (((hugs)))

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    1. Robyn- Yes, she is! I hope your daughter will enjoy this book. I think she will love it! I love that your daughter wants to major in art. :) ~L

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  8. Thanks for introducing me to Patricia!

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  9. Hooray for the Miss Chews and Patricia Polaccos in the world! Nobody's dreams should be dashed by anyone. I've never been really talented in painting and so am always envious of those who can draw really well. It's all in the details, isn't it? Thanks for sharing Patricia's works. I'll recommend them to a student and read them after she does (because she's such a quick reader and I'm terribly slooow).

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    1. Claudine- I agree! I hope you enjoy Patricia's books. I love the messages in each one and she has a way with words. Thank goodness for all the teachers, writers, and artists out there. :) ~L

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  10. I love the sound of this. Art is such an important thing and I hate that the arts are continually getting cut from school budgets. Why are sports more important than music and art? I think we all need to take a closer look at a culture. This book sounds wonderful thanks for sharing. I am going to pin it on my kid's pinterest board!

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    1. Heidi- I agree with you that art is so important. It is an outlet for creativity and a way we can express ourselves. I especially like when we do pottery in school. :) ~L

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