A young white child in a red-and-white–striped shirt and black leggings creates art using the natural world and the imagination in this picture book.
Speaking in first person, a fair-haired, pigtailed imp of a child leads readers through the journey of creating art both from and in the natural world. The book follows a clear three-part framework. The first part introduces a double-page spread in which the child announces the artistic palette to readers (“I am a forest artist”) while the accompanying illustration shows the surrounding environment. The child is sketched, but the forest illustration comprises collaged photographs of leaves, ferns, and other natural objects. The page turn reveals a double-page spread that depicts the budding artistic idea as the child begins to imagine found objects into a creation. The third double-page spread shows the final creation. This framework is repeated for “I am a beach artist,” “I am a rain artist,” and “I am a sky artist”—as each new environment reinforces how the child uses imagination to create using what is immediately available. The illustrations’ use of photographic images and collages encourages readers to find objects like these to make creations of their own, as does the artist’s final exhortation: “So, what will you make today?”
Well-presented and artfully organized in a clear framework, this book will inspire readers to get outside and create. (Picture book. 3-8)