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Polka Dot Penguin Pottery

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  60 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
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 st ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 24th 2011 by Schwartz & Wade
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With an engaging and uplifting narrative (which while promoting essential truths and messages, never feels stale or heavy-handed), there is much to enjoy about Polka Dot Penguin Pottery, and much to make one smile with both humour and understanding. I know from personal experience that sometimes, when one is frustrated with regard to an activity (like the protagonist/narrator is with her writer's block), the only way to become unstuck is to take a break and do something else (perhaps related, bu ...more
May 31, 2014 Jill rated it really liked it
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 i
Aspen Colorado Kim Chee Lee is a writer. She writes in her treehouse. But right now she is suffering from writer's block. Her family takes her to a pottery shop. She chooses an egg to paint...but she can't figure out what to paint or how to begin. She isn't just having writer's block...she is having a major creativity block!

Perfect to talk about the creative process, to discuss perfectionism versus mistakes, and to show that we all have moments/days/weeks when we feel our creativity is lacking.
Oct 06, 2011 Melissa rated it really liked it
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?
Sep 27, 2011 Yelena rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A sweet story about dealing with writer's (and artist's) block and using mistakes for inspiration. Brings to mind Reynolds's "The Dot" and Rinder's "A Big Mistake." I think it would've liked it better if it was more succinct and did not have the weird spine-on-top format.
Courtney Stempinski
This story is about a girl named Aspen Colorado Kim Chee Lee, or at least that's what the first-person narrator wants us to call her. She is a young girl, who is an aspirting writer. She explains she has a tree house she likes to write in, but she's experiencing a major writer's block. The story takes her to a ceramic decorating cafe where she then experiences painter's block. The narrator comes to realise unless you get your hands dirty and just get started, you'll never accomplish anything.

Read  Ribbet
Lenore Look of Alvin Ho fame takes on a picture book format in Polka Dot Penguin Pottery. It' s a wonderful book about the creative process. It starts out as a story about the writing process until writer's block sets in and then it moves to the pottery shop where creative processes stall again. Ultimately, the work at the pottery shop provides a way to unblock the writing process. It's a great text to help kids talk about writing process, what to do when you run out of ideas, where ideas come f ...more
Jenny Christen
Sep 21, 2012 Jenny Christen rated it really liked it
This book discusses a little girl's writing, art, being motivated to do something, and creativeness. She later realizes that writing is like painting pottery. Not only is the book a fun one to read, but the style of the book and how to read it is very unique.

This book would be good for first or second graders because it discusses having the motivation to write and that it's okay if you can't think of what to write right away. I would use this book during a writing/reading lesson and have the ki
Jul 03, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it
This book is unusual in one way because it’s created sideways; the bind is at the top of the book and one reads it top to bottom. The pages are filled with interesting little characters along with drawings of the amazing little girl, Aspen Colorado Kim Chee Lee. Actually that’s her writing name and she is an author! Unfortunately she has writer’s block and the different things that happen to help her ‘unblock’ fill the story with brightness and silliness, but it all ends up just fine. This woul ...more
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Jan 11, 2011 Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy) rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Aspen Colorado Kim Chee Lee (nom de plume) is struggling with writer's block. Her grandparents take her to a pottery painting shop and she feels like she now has "pottery block". A lesson in learning how to make mistakes and turn it into something amazing teaches this little girl to unblock the blocks in her life.
Delightful illustrations and great story about writer's block, the writing process, identifying as an author and waiting for the spark of creativity to arrive, ultimately starting with mistakes and creating from there.
The Styling Librarian
Nov 04, 2012 The Styling Librarian rated it really liked it
Polka Dot Penguin Pottery by Lenore Look, illustrated by Yumi Heo – Beautiful story with a little girl fighting writers block and then getting inspired by an experience with art creation. Really enjoyed Lenore Look’s most recent picture book!
Jul 10, 2011 Shelli rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
Story of a young author who has a serious case of writers block. Her grandparents try to help her find another creative outlet to be inspired with.
Caitlin Sempowich
Dec 08, 2011 Caitlin Sempowich rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Adorable! Great illustrations.
Edward Sullivan
May 13, 2011 Edward Sullivan rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A charming, colorful celebration of creativity.
An ode to creativity of all kinds. Adorable!
Oct 27, 2011 Maggie rated it it was amazing
Great book for any young writer with writer's block or anxiety about being creative. My favorite line: You can only make a masterpiece if you are willing to make a mess. --Maggie
Mar 14, 2015 Tanja rated it really liked it
Charming picture book with adorable illustrations narrating the story of a young girl dealign with writer's block. Appreciated also the unusual layout.
Feb 07, 2012 Amy rated it it was amazing
This book is about an aspiring author who finds that she has writer's block. And also potter's block. It takes a little while but she discovers how to regain her creativity.

grades 1-2
Jul 05, 2011 PWRL marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2011-new
Lil Jen
Feb 02, 2013 Lil Jen rated it really liked it
An aspirting write gets stuck for words. As she disovers the joy of painting with the help of friends and family the stories come back to her. Great story for creatvitiy and exploring new hobbies.
Jen V
Jen V rated it liked it
Jun 27, 2012
Jennifer rated it liked it
Jan 19, 2014
Paul  Hankins
Paul Hankins rated it liked it
Nov 22, 2011
Janine Weston
Janine Weston rated it liked it
May 30, 2012
Kelli rated it it was amazing
Nov 18, 2016
Qian rated it it was amazing
Dec 06, 2011
Colby Sharp
Colby Sharp rated it liked it
Jul 19, 2013
Valerie rated it really liked it
Mar 21, 2014
Brielle rated it liked it
Mar 27, 2014
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I first began making picture books in kindergarten because my other career option at the time was stealing. But a life of crime requires practice and patience, neither of which I had, so I settled into industry, making what I coveted but what my parents could not afford to buy: beautiful books like the ones my teacher read to us in school.

Publishing was no problem in those days, not like it is no
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