Bridget's Beret by Tom Lichtenheld is simply...remarkable. Let me introduce you to Bridget. Bridget is an artist following in the footsteps of the Great Artists. Her masterpieces are on permanent exhibit - on the front of the refrigerator - while other pieces are available for limited viewing - on the sidewalk.
Bridget's favorite place to draw is outdoors where she feels like she is right where she belongs. Bridget has many art supplies that she uses to create these masterpieces, but her most important art supply is her hat - a big, black beret which she carefully places on her head before she creates any kind of art adjusting it until it sits on her head just right. Emmy and I love saying these lines (referring to the hat)
"It had to have that certain je ne sais quoi. She had no idea what that meant,
but she knew all Great Artists needed it to make art."
Emmy and I now know that je ne sais quoi is a French phrase meaning I-don't-know-what...
that indescribable something which distinguishes one object from another which is similar on
the surface. What a fun phrase to say...je ne sais quoi!
Emmy has now taken over my black beret and uses it whenever she needs some inspiration for her art. ADORABLE!
Tom Lichtenheld's illustrations aren't new to me (Have you read Duck! Rabbit! - it is the funniest children's book ever based on a 19th century style optical illusion) nor are his books (Everything I Know About Pirates and What Are You So Grumpy About?), but I love that this book follows a typical plot. Well, let's let
Mr. Lichtenheld describe it..."Girl loves hat. Girl loses hat. Girl can't draw sans hat, TRAGEDY, DRAMA, HUMOR!"
To find out what really happened to Bridget's stray beret and see the original back-matter for the book drawn in a graphic novel approach click here and find the birds in the lower right hand corner! Lichtenheld opted for the "How to Start Your Art" spread as the back-matter which uses famous paintings to help kids find inspiration for their own art.
An interesting tidbit that I learned after researching Bridget's Beret is that all of Bridget's artwork in the book is based on children's artwork received by Lichtenheld and his inspiration for Bridget - Lichtenheld's niece Madeline.
If you're looking for a book to help inspire your own artwork or that of a child's in your life, definitely check out Bridget's Beret.