Painted Dreams by Karen Lynn Williams

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Synopsis

Using whatever she can find -- a scrap of wastepaper, a bit of charcoal -- Ti Marie makes beautiful art. If only she had real paint and clean white canvas, what wonderful pictures she could paint then! Mama says there is no money for such things, but Ti Marie finds a surprising way to make her dreams come true. This contemporary story set in Haiti celebrates the joy of creativity.
 

About Karen Lynn Williams

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Williams owns her own book store. Catherine Stock was born in Sweden where her father was a diplomat stationed in Stockholm. He was soon transferred to Paris and Stock began school when she was four. She already spoke fluent french. A few years after that, the family moved to Cape Town, South Africa, and after four years in South Africa, they moved to New Orleans. Stock and her family lived in America for eight years; six years in New Orleans, and 2 in San Francisco Stock graduated from high school in June 1970. She was to attend the University of Cape Town the next year, but classes only started in March, so she chose to backpack across Europe in the intervening eight months. Stock started in Paris, went north to visit friends and relatives in Sweden and Norway and then slowly made her way down to Italy and Greece. She ended up working as a volunteer on a kibbutz in Israel once her money ran out. During school, Stock endured the years of apartheid and spent one summer in Zululand, working at a hospital in Nqutu. After four years at art school, she got a job on the Cape Flats, teaching art and art history at a teacher's training college. She then decided to get her teaching certificate in London. Stock couldn't control the tough young kids in London's East End at all, and later, the older students at the Loughton College of Further Education were so bored and unmotivated, that teaching suddenly became a matter of either discipline or entertainment. Stock's parents were in New York by this time, so she arrived in town for a visit. She had no money, but her mother commissioned her to paint the family portraits. Because Stock's parents entertained a lot, word got around about her portraits and soon she was able to finance a post graduate degree in design at Pratt. Through Pratt, she got her first job in publishing, as an art director. After four years in New York at various publishing houses, including Putnam, Coward McCann, Atheneum and Clarion, Stock went back to Cape Town, but three years later returned to New York. She did not go back to publishing, but instead chose to do freelance work and write her own children's books.
 
Published August 19, 1998 by HarperCollins. 40 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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PLB 0-688-13902-7 Paint scavenged from a garbage pile, bits of red brick and white rocks, and brushes painstakingly made from chicken feathers and goat hairs are the only tools Ti Marie can afford for her works of art.

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Publishers Weekly

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The tale's lesson about the rewards of resourcefulness and determination is incontestable, yet Williams's narrative is overwritten and sometimes careless: on a single page, she writes that the bocor's houses ""were painted with many colorful designs that made the heart pound like a drum"" and tha...

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