CM . . . .
Volume VII Number 21 . . . . June 22, 2001
When he grew up, he was going to be an artist. People would come from all over to have him paint their portraits. Maybe they would pay him with candy. Omar liked red ju-jubes the best.Omar aspires to be a famous artist! However, when his teacher misinterprets his drawing of his mother for a rock, Omar loses confidence and throws his artwork in the trash. His friends support him by suggesting that perhaps the paper or the pencil may be the cause of his drawing problems. Omar sighs, "I'm just a bad artist."
At recess all of the children - except Omar - go skating. Thomas tells Omar that he is the best skater in the whole class, but Omar is inconsolable - he wants to be the best artist. When Elsie, a good artist, experiences difficulties skating, Omar offers some advice and demonstrates his amazing skating abilities. When he is finished skating, the children realize that Omar has created some beautiful ice drawings with his skates.
The overall messages of the book include the belief that everyone has unique abilities and that artistic talent can be expressed in more than one way. Some readers may take exception to the story's suggestion that anyone can be an artist if he/she has the "right tools."
Kovalski's bears are chubby and cuddly-looking. The facial expressions on the whimsical bears clearly communicate their thoughts and emotions. Appropriately, the end papers depict Omar skating on ice.
Sylvia Pantaleo is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at Queen's University. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in children's literature and all areas of the language arts.
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