Sadie’s frustration in trying to paint pictures leads her to recognize other means of artistic expression.
“More than anything, Sadie wanted to be an artist.” This initial, black-inked statement is set against a white background. Sadie’s hands are busy repotting seedlings, while a pastel thought bubble shows Sadie imagining herself creating art on paper. On the next few pages, she is shown painting with a paintbrush, creating desserts, and studying plants outside with a magnifying glass. The text notes that, among other painterly qualities, Sadie “loved playing with colour.” Enter Tom, about 10, Sadie’s best friend, whose painted artwork makes Sadie’s heart smile. Sadie’s admiration of Tom’s paintings makes her further determined to be an artist. After several failed attempts at painting—including such juicy terms as “splattered and splodged” and a physical mishap that adds some humor—Sadie has her epiphany. The appealing watercolors are extremely skilled, depicting both children with pale skin and including a charming guinea pig, often in Sadie’s arms. The children’s friendship is nicely described. However, the apparent message of the story—abandoning something that exhibits any incompetence and finding one’s true creative outlet—is an odd one in a text written for an age group encouraged to explore and practice.
Pretty and sweet—but the point? (Picture book. 4-8)