The troubles and triumph of Tommy, who wants to be an artist when he grows up. At home, he's busy drawing pictures all the time and everywhere (even, once, on his sheets); at school, there are frustrations: in kindergarten, they use paint that cracks and blows off the paper on the way home; in first grade, the teacher insists that he use the clumsy school-issued crayons instead of his own big box of many colors. When the art teacher comes, instructions are strict: one piece of paper only, and--horrifying to Tommy, who knows that "real artists don't copy"--everyone is to copy the same thing. Fortunately, however, a compromise is reached: he will do the assignment; then, he may have more paper to do his own picture. Simple, straightforward, illustrated with sympathy and humor, this autobiographical story makes a vital point. Teachers, please note! The "lesson" is for you.