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La Clase de Dibujo
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La Clase de Dibujo

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,817 Ratings  ·  136 Reviews
Ever since he can remember, Tommy has wanted to be an artist. Day and night, he paints anything he wants to, until one day, his art teacher asks the students to copy what she is drawing. Tommy draws something original instead. Based on his own life, dePaola's inspirational story encourages children to be creative and persistent.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 1st 1996 by Everest Publishing (first published January 1st 1989)
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Dec 17, 2009 Heather rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Welcome to "Heather over-analyzes a children's book yet again!"

I got this book at the library because I thought Margaret would like it. She's in a coloring phase and thought it would go well with that.

The story started off nice enough. His parents and family are supportive of his desire to do art. When Tomie gets to kindergarten, he finds the quality of the art supplies disheartening. It was a nice reminder: it's probably better that my kids have a few good art supplies than a lot of crappy ones
Jun 14, 2008 Janelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: budding artist, fans of Tomie dePaola
Recommended to Janelle by: LeVar Burton
Tomie dePaola is one of my favorite children's author/illustrators. I love that this book is about how he became an artist.

It also discussed how other children have other hobbies and interests and talents, and how one finds a balance between conformity/following rules, and individuality. The main focus is on how Tommy (Tomie) develops and shares his talents with the world (including through this book)

I especially loved the reference to the 64 box of Crayola crayons because everyone knows the Cr
Lorraine Ryan
A cute little book that teaches children to do what they are passionate about and to never give on their dreams. I loved this book because it showed a child growing up and doing what he always wanted to do, draw. ‘Tommy’, is passionate about drawing and has always been encouraged by his family in creating wonderful pictures. He loved to draw his own pictures however when he started art lessons in school, this wasn’t always the case. He found his teacher dictated him into drawing what she wanted ...more
Lisa Vegan
This is a short autobiographical work about the artist author, and about how even as a boy he was an artist. It did bring me back to how I valued those boxes of Crayola 64 colors of crayons. (When I was a bit older and found boxes with an even bigger color selection of crayons, I was in art heaven.) I was a bit bothered by the form of the resolution this story had re the boy’s “permission” to be a the artist he was as a first grader, although Tomie dePaola certainly did ok with his background, s ...more
Laura Hoyler
One of my favorites- I read it to my class each year to encourage them to be artistic in the way THEY like!
Apr 13, 2009 Luann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My college professor read this to us in my "Art of the Picture Book" class. It is another great story from the life of Tomie de Paola. He knows he wants to be an artist when he grows up, so he draws pictures everywhere - once even on his sheets until his mom finds out. When he gets to school, he is excited to have art lessons with a real art teacher, but then finds out he is required to use school crayons, use only one sheet of paper, and COPY what the teacher draws for them. He does work out a ...more
Rachel Keller
Mar 08, 2015 Rachel Keller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fantastic book! Tomie dePaola can do no wrong in my opinion. In the story, Tommy is a budding artist who cannot wait until his art lesson in first grade. The voice of the character is so child-like and really puts the reader inside of Tommy's thoughts and feelings. The moment when Tommy finds out he will not get his lesson until first grade really resonated with me. It is so hard to wait for things we are looking forward too, especially when we can't control them! This is such a good illu ...more
The picture story book THE ART LESSON, is written and illustrated by Tomie de Paola. It is a nice story of a boy, Tommy, which loves drawing, he spends all the day drawing, and he want to have a art lesson in the school. But when the art lesson start he realized that he have to copy what the teacher draw and hr dont like this, because he want to b a real artist. But in the end come to term with the art teacher and he draw what he wants too.

The text and the pictures are equal, both of them are ne
Savannah Schneider
This is another book I read to my little sister. She didn't seem to be interested in it much, and I found it incredibly boring. There was a lot of big words that I could barely even read so I don't think children will really understand it unless you substitute them with different words. I think it'd be more for a younger boy than a girl. It was about how the author came to be an artist. I would recommend it to young boys that are interested in art.
Season Neal
Jan 19, 2012 Season Neal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
What I believe to be Tomie dePaola's life story. A young Tomie dePaola is excited to begin school because of art class. Yet, when his dreams of art class are destroyed by a teacher who doesn't let the students be creative, the little boy doesn't let this bring him down. This is a cute story that students love and helps teach perseverance and believing in yourself.
Leslie Kress
Mar 05, 2015 Leslie Kress rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola is about a boy Tommy who loves art and can’t wait for art class in school. However, it is not quite what he thinks. He has to use boring school crayons, paint that cracks, and he only gets one piece of paper in art class. Despite the fact that Tommy isn’t too happy about this,Tommy does continue with his love of art, compromises with his art teacher, and of course grows up to be the famous illustrator that we know today. Although his teachers in this book irked me ...more
Tory Haberman
Nov 29, 2014 Tory Haberman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola is about a boy named Tommy who knew he wanted to be an artist when he grew up, drawings pictures everywhere he went. Tommy practiced, practiced and practiced and couldn’t wait to take real art lessons at school. However, when he got to the art room, he was dismayed by the amount of rules and regulations there were to taking the art lessons. Will Tommy still pursue his dream of becoming an artist? Or will he decide to find a new passion?

This is a colorful and beaut
Maya Benberry
This is an adorable book that is about a little boy named Tomie that is in Kindergarten. He enjoys drawing and to his dismay the select of art supplies that his school has is not to his liking. So he brings his own crayon from home to school in which he is told that he must the same crayons as everyone else and NOT WEAR DOWN the points. He knows he wants to become a artist when he grows up and is excited to go to school and take lessons from a real art teacher only go find out that you are requi ...more
There's so much to like about this book. I wish I'd discovered it years ago. It's not new (written in 1989). One, this is a child with a passion. He has a goal, and the things he does are steps toward achieving his goal. Two, this shows a slice of what happens in school without trying to describe the whole school day. Three, when Tommy is unhappy with something about the school day, he explains to the teacher. (That's an exceptional child! I would have been too intimidated and meekly complied wi ...more
Gianna Parisi
Feb 17, 2014 Gianna Parisi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola is a picture story book about a boy named tommy who wants to be an artist when he grows up. I love the overall lesson of the story that if you have a dream to go for that dream no matter what. I believe that this book teaches students that everyone is special in their own way. I would use this in a third or fourth grade classroom. I would have this book at the reading station and each student would read it and tell me briefly what they want to do when they grow up ...more
Amazon Book Description:
A boy named Tommy loves to draw with his Binney & Smith Crayola crayons, and these pictures hang on his side of the room, in his mother's kitchen, at the barber shop where his father works, in the store of his Irish grandparents and in the home of his Italian grandmother Nana. Tommy? Nana?

This work of picture-book fiction is really a gem of an autobiography, and readers familiar with dePaola's work will find wonderful, well-placed clues to his lifetime of artistry a
Todd Burleson
Nov 13, 2012 Todd Burleson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my two books written by Tommy dePaola for my author study:

This gentle book tells the early story of the world famous artist and author Tommy dePaola.

The illustrations in the story are very similar to others in Tommy's books. His characters are slightly cartoonish, yet the characters, especially in this story, maintain their ethnic characteristics. The soft color palette and gentle pencil and colored pencil illustrations seem to capture Tommy's gentle, but driven personality.

Aug 22, 2010 Brenda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
This story is a reflection of Tomie dePaola’s early introduction to the world of art while at school. He does a very nice job of showing his love of drawing with illustrations of himself drawing on the sheets undercover with a flashlight and onto the walls of his house. He speaks of the vibrant colors in his box of crayons with shades of “red-orange and blue-violet.” The book also reveals some of his early frustration with the teaching of art. Tomie dePaola conveys that he was told by his teache ...more
Jordan Caton
The Art Lesson is a story about a boy, named Tommy, who inspires to be an artist when he gets older. He loves to draw and does so all the time for his family to hang up and look at. He learned from his sisters who are artists as well, that he should never copy work from others, but be creative and make his own drawings. When he gets to school he gets let down multiple times. First, they are doing paintings. "If it was windy when Tommy carried his picture home, the paint blew right off the paper. ...more
Sep 27, 2011 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tomie dePaola, the prolific author and illustrator, of more than 250 picture books has created a unique blend of fiction and autobiography in The Art Lesson. Similar to Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, this book resonates with its reader. My five year old daughter, who happens to “want to be an artist when she grows up”, absolutely adored this book. It has found a permanent home on her bookshelves and I believe inspired her.

The Art Lesson tells the story of a young Tomie dePaola and his passio
Lindsay Larsen
Sep 15, 2013 Lindsay Larsen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was appealing to me because of the picture on the front. The little boy is intriguing and the illustrations seem simplistic but detailed.

This story is for a fifth grade teacher and an art teacher. It refers to the story (about receiving more than one piece of paper). From the cover and border, I felt as if the boy on the front might be the one giving the art lesson. The boy is looking forward, with paper and crayon in hand. It looks as if he has more crayons, paint, paintbrushes and a
Audra Sein
Sep 17, 2013 Audra Sein rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Art Lesson is a story about a little boy name Tommy who wants to be an artist more than anything else. His efforts at learning to be a real artist are constantly being thwarted until he meets Mrs. Bowers, his first grade art teacher.

As I read this book, there were several things that I noticed about the illustrations. The colors that Tomie dePaola uses for the illustrations in this book are very warm and inviting. This fits with the tone of the story extremely well. Since the little boy in t
Gloria Barbee
Sep 15, 2013 Gloria Barbee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola is a delightfully told story with brightly colored illustrations. It depicts dePaola's love of art and his life long desire to be an artist. The images show the importance of a young boy's love of art and creative influences. Young Tomie is eager to begin school only to find he must wait until first grade to begin art lessons. He then finds his teacher tries to stifle his artistic ability by only allowing him to use the standard school crayons in class. He then fi ...more
Mar 24, 2011 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fun tale that shows the beginnings of Tomie dePaola's interest in drawing and his early years as an artist. The illustrations are classic dePaola and I love the characters from some of his other stories featured in the pictures in the background. The story also offers a glimpse into his family's background, with Irish and Italian extended family members, a stay-at-home mother and a father who is a dentist. The story is interesting; I love that it shows the frustration of a young child ...more
Apr 20, 2015 Mandee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Art Lesson
1. When Tommy sneaks his crayons to school under his sweaters, the girls are shown whispering to each other. This shows that they know that the teacher has already explained to Tommy not to bring his crayons to class.
2. The smile on his face when the art teacher allows for the compromise, I feel shows why Tommy (Tomie) went on to become an illustrator. As we know that Tomie wrote books about himself and his family, this is a story of his own life. The fact that he found something e
Kate Werner
Jun 25, 2014 Kate Werner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art, social-emotional
Tommy is dying to be an artist. He is so excited when he finally gets the opportunity to get art lessons in school. However, his excitement quickly fades when he learns that there are too many rules in art. Throughout the year, the art teacher shows Tommy that there are ways to follow the rules and be true to yourself.

This is not only a great book about art, but it is also a wonderful book about following the rules and still being yourself.
Jan 23, 2012 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-picture
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 12, 2014 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a charming autobiographical memoir about Tomie dePaola's childhood and how he began making art, and an homage to his art teacher and his box of 64 Crayola crayons.

Would that every school could allow children to learn to make beautiful art using high quality papers, paints, and crayons. I'm grateful to be teaching in a school where this is a very high priority.
Melanie, Aaron, Annie, and Mary Project
Read by: Annie
Author/Illustrator: Tomie dePaola
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Interest Level: K-2
Grade Level Equivalent: 4

I love this author! This is an autobiographical story about how Tommy, who wants to be an artist when he grows up, goes to school for the first time. He has to wait a whole year to get to first grade when the art lessons begin, and then he is dismayed to learn that they expect him to use lousy school crayons instead of his 64-pack of Crayolas. Even worse, they expect him to copy the
May 09, 2012 Ana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely LOVE Tomie dePaola's books, but this is my absolute favourite of them all!

My son is half Italian and half Portuguese. These books were perfect for his half Italian side. The Strega Nona books are among this favourite childhood books (my son was born in 1991 so you see, he is no longer a child).

However, I, being an artist, myself, really related to this book. I loved this book so much that I made a recording of me reading it to give as Christmas gifts (along with the book) to my art
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Tomie dePaola (pronounced Tommy da-POW-la) is best known for his books for children.
He's been published for 40 years and has written and/or illustrated over 200 books, including 26 Fairmount Avenue, Strega Nona, and Meet the Barkers.
Tomie dePaola and his work have been recognized with the Caldecott Honor Award, the Newbery Honor Award and the New Hampshire Governor's Arts Award of Living Treasure.
More about Tomie dePaola...

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