Eye of the Beholder: The Jellybeans and the Big Art Adventure by Laura Numeroff
Bitsy loved to paint.
She painted at breakfast.
She even painted while bowling.
Bitsy has the most artistic bowling ball in the alley, and her friends Emma, Anna, and Nicole share her passion for personal pursuits, if not for paint and palette per se. Anna loves literature; Nicole lives for soccer, and Emma's heart beats for ballet.
Still, the girls' devotion to their own activity has given them an appreciation for each other's special interest. Anna's love of the library has taught them all an appreciation of scholarship; Nicole's knack for soccer led them all to have a ball at summer camp, and Emma's passion for the pas de bourree has encouraged all four of them to star in a double pas de deux in dance class. So when Bitsy cajoles them into a visit to the local art museum and acts as their personal douen, the others get what Bitsy sees in those modern and old masters.
It's no surprise then when the girls repair to their favorite sweet shop for a pick-me-up and learn of the upcoming redecoration of their favorite bistro, Mrs. Petunia Dinkley-Sneezer's jellybean emporium, the others pitch her artistic abilities enthusiastically.
"Bitsy can paint anything!" said Nicole.
"Perfect! said Mrs. Dinkley-Sneezer.
But this is no little still life painting for the shop wall. The proprietor has bigger works in mind as she leads the artist and her retinue outside and points to the whole side of the building.
"Bitsy, this is where I would like you to create something special!"
At first a canvas of that size appeals to Bitsy, but soon reality sets in. That's a lot of wall, and it calls for a grand vision and a scale of execution that is a bit intimidating even to Bitsy. Is this how Da Vinci felt when he looked at the Sistine Chapel?
"WHAT am I going to paint?" she wondered.
She stood in front of the wall all afternoon.
But with the Jellybeans it's all for one and one for all, and with her friends' help, we just know that Bitsy is up to the job in Laura Numeroff's latest in her series, The Jellybeans and the Big Art Adventure (Abrams, 2012). Author Numeroff and notable illustrator Lynn Munsinger give the fourth Jellybean girl a chance to show that she, too, can shine as she does her own thing with color and style.
In this junior version of "chick lit," Numeroff and Munsinger show again that girl power comes from both personal talent and the support of good friends. And, in a nod to the art world, as Publishers Weekly points out, in the illustrations for this book the award-winning Munsinger artfully uses this chance "to work in some clever visual references to Degas and Rodin."
The previous titles in this popular series include The Jellybeans and the Big Dance, The Jellybeans and the Big Book Bonanza, and The Jellybeans and the Big Camp Kickoff.