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(Willow #1)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  482 ratings  ·  92 reviews
Miss Hawthorn's room is neat and tidy, not a pencil or paintbrush is out of place. And that's how she likes it. And she likes trees that are colored green and apples that are painted red. Miss Hawthorn does not like things to be different or out of the ordinary. Into Miss Hawthorn's classroom comes young Willow. She doesn't color inside the lines, she breaks crayons, and ...more
Hardcover, 30 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Sleeping Bear Press
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Average rating 4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  482 ratings  ·  92 reviews

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(I wonder why Miss Hawthorn became an art teacher?!)

Miss Hawthorn's art classroom is neat and tidy and students are taught to draw things in very precise ways. But Willow paints and draws what she sees in her mind when she closes her eyes. Miss Hawthorn is dismayed. When Willow shows her the beloved art book that often has inspiring, unusual paintings...much like hers...Miss Hawthorn is unimpressed. But then, sweet and creative and persistent Willow leaves Miss Hawthorn a gift as Winter Break
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Cute story about creativity, and I like the spin that Willow is able to awaken that creativity in her grumpy art teacher through kindness. She’s a great protagonist.
Any book that encourages children to follow their own artistic muse is an inspiration to me.
CH - Marvin Childress
Feb 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Authors: Denise Brennan-Nelson and Rosemarie Brennan; Illustrated: Cyd Moore; Grade: 2-5

This is a tale about an awful art teacher, Ms. Hawthorne, who makes students sit in rows, draw and paint as she believes, not talk, not laugh, etc. She is extremely rigid and old-fashioned. Ms. Hawthorne has one student who breaks her rules by coloring trees pink, apples blue, etc. Ms. Hawthorne loathes this girl and tells her she is doing art wrong...but Willow never crumbles. Willow shows her art teacher
A cutesy, in-your-face story about non-conformity and the power of imagination. Willow is a student and Ms. Hawthorne is her sour-attitude art teacher. Ms. Hawthorne want the students to only draw a particular way. Willow draws what she sees when she closes her eyes. Ms. Hawthorne remains inflexible until Willow gifts her her well-loved artbook. All of a sudden, Ms. Hawthorne feels the need to repaint the art room in imaginative decor.
Jun 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Seething stringency and constant condemnation prove no match for good-natured self worth in this uplifting story of creativity, individuality and respect. Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks!

You can listen in on our chat about this book on our Just One More Book! Children's Book Podcast.
Oct 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I have to admit that I questioned this book at the beginning. I wondered what age group that a teacher, parent, or librarian should read it to. I know that everything that we read can not be completely positive but I still questioned it. However, the book took a turn...I have to say that "Willow" made me cry...
Jul 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
My five-year-old and I both loved this book about a free spirited little girl who has something to teach her uptight art teacher about originality and creativity.
Oct 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Art should be fun. Some teachers need to be reminded of that.
Kathryn Heavenissmilingabove
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a book I can easily see myself gifting to my children's art teachers.

Willow is a precocious little girl who isn't afraid to color the way she sees things when she closes her eyes. Her art teacher is a fussy woman who never gets presents until the Christmas Willow leaves one of her most favorite things on her desk. It changes the teachers life.

I loved the Willow tree addition at the end of the book as a special gift to Willow herself that embodied the living gift she had awoken in her
Morgan Stout
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My toddler did not quite understand the premise of this book, but I did and I loved it! We will definitely read it again this fall. Willow is a student that dances to the beat of her own drum and her strict art teacher does not appreciate it at all. When Christmas comes around, the only gift Miss Hawthorn receives is from Willow. When the students return from Christmas break, Miss Hawthorn completely shifts her philosophy on teaching and everyone is happy.
Donna Mork
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Cute book about a mean art teacher. She doesn't allow imagination. But Willow does it anyway, painting what she likes. No one likes the art teacher. Except Willow. Willow gives her a gift at break. It is an art book. The teacher discovers her own imagination and goes wild. She is a different person when the kids return. Everyone is allowed their imaginations to go wild.
Ms. Arca
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Willow is a bastion of creativity and artistic flair. This strength happens to be at odds with her curmudgeonly art teacher. Nevertheless, Willow continues to play with her own art and gives it to others and eventually some things turn around. Cute celebration of creativity, the characters needed a bit more depth for me.
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
A lovely ending
Hannah Kirk
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: text-set
I chose to have this book in my goodreads because it is fun and spunky and it shows that its okay to let your imagination run wild and it’s okay to have fun sometimes.
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's a relatively predictable story-line, but the sweet protagonist and the vibrant illustrations make up for it.
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
LOVE LOVE it is so intresting
Elaine Fong
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Loved it. I'm seeing more and more books encouraging true creativity for kids. Will be fun to see the results for
this generation in a decade or two.
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Reread AGAIN last Willow and her creative, caring spirit!
Everyone should read this book! Learn how to see and make art in a new way--let the creativity flow! Anyone contemplating a career teaching art needs to read this and 'The Dot', by Peter Reynolds.
Veronica Wolkan
Title: Willow
Author: Denise Brennan-Nelson
Illustrator: Cyd Moore
Genre: Picture Book
Theme(s): (importance of) imagination, conformity, friendship
Opening line/sentence: Even on the sunniest days, Miss Hawthorn’s art room was clouded, cold, and dark.
Brief Book Summary: Willow is a very creative girl, but her art teacher does not let her or any other student use their imagination in their artwork. When winter break occurs, nobody but Willow left a gift for Miss Hawthorn, and this let Miss Hawthorn
Laura Mueller
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Laura Mueller
April 4, 2015
EDL53500 Library Materials for Children and Youth

Title: Willow

Author: Denise Brennan-Nelson, Rosemarie Brennan

Plot: Willow is a creative, imaginative young girl who loves art. Her art teacher Miss Hawthorn gets very frustrated when Willow doesn't follow directions and paints a wavy, pink tree and a tree with blue apples. She wants all the students' pictures to look the same after her model. Willow brings in her art book to show Miss Hawthorn a painting of a blue apple
Karen Gedeon
Everyone knows a child whose artistic ability does not stay within the box. Willow, written by Denise Brennan-Nelson and Rosemarie Brennan, is for them. Willow is an elementary student who interprets her art assignments a little differently than everyone else. Her trees are pink swirls instead of green with brown trunks, her apples: blue. Needless to say her art teacher and some of her peers are not impressed by her expressive nature. Yet Willow is the only child to offer a holiday gift to her ...more
Kathy Ellen Davis
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
What a cute book!
I love the change in this story!
So Willow is this great little budding artist who constantly goes against her art teacher's strict rules and paints and draws what she sees.

Her art teacher, who we can tell from the beginning is in some sort of rut, does NOT appreciate this, but Willow keeps going. Even after getting scolded about it, time after time!
(There's a GREAT spread about this scolding! It's like a montage, really!)

But that doesn't stop Willow from giving her teacher a
May 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks, art
I'm afraid this book is going to get missed, and I so wish that it wouldn't. Denise Brennan-Nelson is a Michigan children's author who needs attention! Brennan-Nelson posses a unique skill: the ability to teach adults as well as children with the words she writes and stories she tells. Willow is no exception.

There art books like Patrick McDonnell's Art, Antoinette Portis' Not a Stick and The Dot by Peter Reynold's that help nurture a child's creativity, but there are few that awaken lost
Priscilla Johnson
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wow-books
A student name Willow goes to school each day and loves going to her art class and seeing her art teacher. She is not the perfect student and it drives her teacher Miss. Hawthorn crazy, until one day Willow decides to give her teacher the perfect gift. This gift reminds Miss. Hawthorn of her passion for art and changes her as a teacher.

This is a "WOW" book for me for so many reasons. It's a great book to teach students how character change through out a story. It's a wonderful read aloud for an
Kaitlyn Elmerick
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Genre: Contemporary Realistic
Grade level: Lower/Intermediate Elementary
Sometimes adults need a little inspiration, which is exactly what Willow gives her art teacher in this book! Willow was not afraid to be herself, which is a lesson everyone needs to be reminded of sometimes.
Mary Ann
May 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful, funny, uplifting book! My daughters loved it - I think because it shows the power of the child, and how children can remind adults of the power of imagination. And, of course, everyone loves a happy ending.

Willow has a terrible year in art class. Miss Hawthorn insists that everything is drawn just as it is in real life. Everything is incredible neat and orderly, and all the students sit perfectly in rows. But how does Willow fit into this art class? When the teacher asked the
Personal Reaction: I loved this book because the main character is such a free spirit and it’s funny! The colors and illustrations are also beautiful; each page is full of color.

Purposes for Enrichment: This story could be used to show students that it’s ok to “color outside of the line” and be a little silly sometimes. Maybe after a long week of testing, this could be used to encourage them for an art project.

Curricular Purposes: The character, Willow, interprets things differently and gets in
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