cover image Pearl Paints

Pearl Paints

Abigail Thomas. Henry Holt & Company, $15.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-2976-5

At first Pearl's obsession with making pictures troubles her parents and alienates her friends. But, championed by her aunt Peg, Pearl keeps painting; she finally proves her talent by creating a mural on her bedroom wall, and her smiling family and friends gather to gape in delight. ``Pearl is proud, and everyone is proud of Pearl,'' writes Thomas (Lily), and the satisfied young artist is rewarded with gifts of more paint-presumably she'll work on the family room next. (Unfortunately there's no disclaimer telling young Michelangelos not to try this trick at home). Hewitt makes her picture-book debut with childlike compositions of pastels, ink and gouache. After sketching each character's form in broad, charcoal-like strokes, she fills in the blocks with bright, blended chalks. Most of the cartoons occupy negative space, but in the most playful sequence here, Hewitt floats Pearl atop backgrounds that imitate the styles of O'Keeffe, Gauguin and other masters. Ages 3-7. (Oct.)