Ozzie and the Art Contest

illus. by author. 32p. Sleeping Bear. July 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-1-58536-820-4.
PreS-Gr 2—In Miss Cattywhompus's class of critters, Ozzie, a slightly day-dreamy dog, considers himself the art expert. When the big art contest rolls around, he figures he's a cinch for the win. Then the top prizes are announced, and he discovers to his horror that the subject of the competition was a boat and not the goat he drew. His teacher reminds him that winning isn't everything and that paying attention to instructions is its own reward. Then, just like the ever-energetic blue heeler he is, Ozzie figures out a way to make his goat picture a boat after all. While not distinguished, the bright and bouncy watercolor-and-ink illustrations portray a busy classroom and a teacher who lovingly oversees the chaos. The lessons of learning to deal with losing and the importance of listening are gently given. Ozzie's dogged persistence will find a ready audience and resonate with children who often rush in without thinking.—Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library, WI

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