Cover image for Painted dreams
Painted dreams
Williams, Karen Lynn.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, [1998]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Because her Haitian family is too poor to be able to buy paints for her, eight-year-old Ti Marie finds her own way to create pictures that make the heart sing.
Reading Level:
560 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.0 0.5 32177.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.8 2 Quiz: 30897 Guided reading level: L.
Geographic Term:
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
PIC BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



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.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-6. This picture book set in Haiti tells of Little Ti Marie, who draws pictures on her cement house with bits of brick and charcoal. Her mother rubs away the drawings and sends Ti Marie off to do her chores. Finding some discarded paints in a local artist's trash pile, Ti Marie uses them to make beautiful pictures on the wall of the market stall where her mother sells vegetables. Soon, crowds gather to admire her pictures and to buy her mother's produce. The artist encourages Ti Marie to practice and develop her talent, and Mama begins to take pride in her daughter's work. Beautifully composed and full of life, Stock's watercolors suggest the personalities of the characters through their expressions and gestures. Ti Marie's pictures are drawn in a convincingly naive style. A universal, childlike story with a distinctive and well-defined locale. --Carolyn Phelan

Publisher's Weekly Review

An imaginative Haitian girl takes the first step toward becoming an artist in this uneven but cheery tale from the author and artist of Galimoto. Lacking paints, brushes and paper, Ti Marie uses an orange brick, white stone and black charcoal to draw pictures on the cement wall of her modest house. She admires the vivid paintings created by the local bocor, or voodoo priest, and rummages through his trash to salvage almost empty paint tubes and scrap paper. Then, with goat hairs and chicken feathers for brushes, the child paints pictures on the wall behind her mother's neglected vegetable stand at the marketplace, thereby attracting customers. 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 that Ti Marie "with colors and brushes... could make pictures that made your heart sing." Stock's watercolor illustrations are technically very accomplished but uncharacteristically sluggish. The best moments are her smooth and sunny juxtapositioning of Ti Marie's childlike drawings within polished scenes of island life. An uplifting tale about making something out of nothing. Ages 5-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-Eight-year-old Ti Marie, a Haitian girl, longs to be an artist. At every opportunity she draws with the meager means she has, using such items as red brick, moss, and charcoal to create her pictures. She dreams of having real paints, brushes, and canvas-supplies her parents can't afford. After observing the colorful painting adorning the buildings in the yard of the artist Msie Antoine, who is also a powerful priest and healer, the girl raids his trash after dark, turning up a bit of precious paint in the bottom of discarded tubes. She uses it, along with her more rudimentary drawing tools, to spruce up the wall behind the dull and scantily trafficked area in the marketplace where her mother peddles her vegetables. Ti Marie's pictures become the talk of the village, drawing attention to her mother's stand as well as compliments from many, including Msie Antoine. As they did in Galimoto (Lothrop, 1990), this author and illustrator gently and deftly portray a child with few material goods but with plenty of hope, dreams, and ingenuity.-Tom S. Hurlburt, La Crosse Public Library, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.