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Polka Dot Penguin Pottery by Lenore Look
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Polka Dot Penguin Pottery

by Lenore Look

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Aspen is a young writer that is introduce to the art of pottery painting. She is unsure of how to get started, but once she finally put her brush to pottery the picture begins to show itself to her. ( )
  mosbor | Sep 21, 2014 |
The author/illustrator team that produced Uncle Peter’s Amazing Chinese Wedding is back again with a charming book that opens sideways (fun in and of itself!) about a little girl who calls herself Aspen Colorado Kim Chee Lee. This, she tells us, is her “nom de plume” - her writing name. She is an author:

"I write stories about monkeys and elephants, aliens and robots, and sometimes, about me.”

But lately it hasn’t been going well:

"All my pages are blank, blank, blank. My gunggung and pohpoh call it Writer’s Block.”

Her grandparents suggest she take a break and do something else, so she goes with them and her baby sister into town, where they end up at the Polka Dot Penguin Pottery - a paint-your-own-pottery studio. [There really is such a place, in White Plains, New York. The website is here.] It’s very fun in there, especially when some of her friends arrive as well.

Kim decides to make an Easter Egg, but alas, now Kim has Pottery Block.

To make matters worse, little Olivia drools on the egg she is trying to paint, and it is all smeary. But Kim’s friend Ivy likes it, telling Kim, “You can only make a masterpiece if you’re willing to make a mess.”

The bells of epiphany go off (at least in the adult readers’ heads), and before you know it, Kim has a beautiful egg. When she gets home, she runs straight to her tree house and puts up a sign, “Writer at work, do not disturb.”

Evaluation: This is a fun story that may inspire kids to try their own projects, with special appeal to all those kids who already love doing crafts but may not feel they are as adept at it as they would like to be. The illustrations by Yumi Heo are bright, colorful, and whimsical, evoking Maira Kalman.

Note: The author has a blog, or as she calls it, “a globby blog or glob” for “all the young readers she meets who tell her that they want to be authors too!” The link is here. ( )
  nbmars | May 31, 2014 |
I really enjoyed this story, such truth about the creative process and shared in an accessible way for young artists. I thought the sideways binding was a nice touch--you have to let yourself try new things when you're making stuff, don't you? ( )
  MelissaZD | Dec 31, 2013 |
A charming, colorful celebration of creativity. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
Polka Dot penguin is about a girl who loves to write, but lately nothing has inspired her to write. Her grandparents take her to a pottery painting store where she got pick whatever she painted but just like her writing she was uninspired. Later he little sister helps her find inspiration for her pottery, resulting in inspiration for her writing. ( )
  kclopez | Feb 8, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 037586332X, Hardcover)

Aspen Colorado Kim Chee Lee likes writing stories about monkeys, elephants, and aliens, but these days writing hasn't been much fun. It's like her characters are on vacation. Her pages are blank and she's blocked. Luckily, her grandparents know that a trip to the local paint-your-own-pottery studio is exactly what she needs to feel creative again. Lenore Look's charming story and Yumi Heo's mixed-media naive-style illustrations create a warm and childlike book for young artists and writers.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:40 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A visit to a pottery shop and the encouragement of family and friends not only provide Aspen the opportunity to paint something beautiful, they also help her get past her writer's block.

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