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Noonie's Masterpiece

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Fantastic illustrations with a fresh, contemporary look enrich this debut novel about a 10-year-old aspiring artist stuck living with an aunt, uncle, and cousin who clearly don't recognize her genius. A humorous and heartfelt reminder that "a brilliant artist is never afraid," this book reveals that sometimes our greatest masterpieces are the bonds we unexpectedly forge wi Fantastic illustrations with a fresh, contemporary look enrich this debut novel about a 10-year-old aspiring artist stuck living with an aunt, uncle, and cousin who clearly don't recognize her genius. A humorous and heartfelt reminder that "a brilliant artist is never afraid," this book reveals that sometimes our greatest masterpieces are the bonds we unexpectedly forge with the people in our lives.


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Fantastic illustrations with a fresh, contemporary look enrich this debut novel about a 10-year-old aspiring artist stuck living with an aunt, uncle, and cousin who clearly don't recognize her genius. A humorous and heartfelt reminder that "a brilliant artist is never afraid," this book reveals that sometimes our greatest masterpieces are the bonds we unexpectedly forge wi Fantastic illustrations with a fresh, contemporary look enrich this debut novel about a 10-year-old aspiring artist stuck living with an aunt, uncle, and cousin who clearly don't recognize her genius. A humorous and heartfelt reminder that "a brilliant artist is never afraid," this book reveals that sometimes our greatest masterpieces are the bonds we unexpectedly forge with the people in our lives.

30 review for Noonie's Masterpiece

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mercadoodles

    What a beautiful book—the words, the illustrations, and the design all came together exquisitely. The trim size is also lovely: small and precious. Noonie is a dedicated artist to a point of obsession. All she wants to do is draw and paint. She doesn't feel like she needs to go to school because she will be discovered as a great artist, she is sure of it. Her mother passed away when she was five, and her father is an archaeologist who is required to travel. This leaves Noonie in the care of her w What a beautiful book—the words, the illustrations, and the design all came together exquisitely. The trim size is also lovely: small and precious. Noonie is a dedicated artist to a point of obsession. All she wants to do is draw and paint. She doesn't feel like she needs to go to school because she will be discovered as a great artist, she is sure of it. Her mother passed away when she was five, and her father is an archaeologist who is required to travel. This leaves Noonie in the care of her well- meaning aunt and uncle, who have a son of their own named Junior. Normally I have a knee-jerk reaction to dead parents in middle-grade and young adult novels. Sometimes I wonder if writers are capable of developing plot and character and creating catharsis without a dead parent. In this case it was necessary; Noonie's obsession with art is her desperate attempt to connect with her artist mom. At least Railsback did not focus on Noonie's sadness, but her admiration for what a great artist her mom was. The sadness is between the lines. Everyone around Noonie is more or less forgiving of her behavior, which is disruptive, but not mean-spirited. She's like Van Gogh with ADD. They all deeply care for Noonie, her adoptive family especially. This is a relief: no evil stepmother, no insufferable cousin... Maybe they don't understand her, but they treat her as their own. It's Noonie who is aloof and distant. I like that she goes through a Blue Period and then a Purple one. Railsback sneaks in a few art lessons by revealing facts about famous artists through Noonie's words. Noonie's "assistant", Reno, is endearing in his devotion to her. I would have LOVED this book as a kid. As an adult, it still resonates.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Josiah

    "And I just like to believe...that artists have the power to change the world." —Ms. Lilly, Noonie's Masterpiece, P. 93 If Lisa Railsback keeps up this kind of writing for much longer, she's going to end up becoming one of my favorite authors. Filled with the same spirit of personal independence in the face of past sadness that buoyed Betti on the High Wire, Noonie's Masterpiece is a wonderfully imaginative, playfully funny story about a budding ten-year-old artist named Noonie, who lives apart "And I just like to believe...that artists have the power to change the world." —Ms. Lilly, Noonie's Masterpiece, P. 93 If Lisa Railsback keeps up this kind of writing for much longer, she's going to end up becoming one of my favorite authors. Filled with the same spirit of personal independence in the face of past sadness that buoyed Betti on the High Wire, Noonie's Masterpiece is a wonderfully imaginative, playfully funny story about a budding ten-year-old artist named Noonie, who lives apart from her father with her Aunt Sylvia, Uncle Ralph and younger cousin, Junior. Noonie's mother passed away when Noonie was a kindergartner, and her father's job as a traveling archaeologist made it hard for him to take care of Noonie by himself while searching the world over for artifacts from civilizations past. He thought it would be better for Noonie to grow up in a more normal family, and attend a regular school so that she could make friends and maybe forget about some of the sadness from the early years of her life. More tangibly than just by way of the faint impressions she has of her mother, Noonie carries the memory of the woman who gave birth to her in the growing artistic ability and mindset that she possesses. Noonie sees the world around her as a blank canvas just waiting to be given a brilliant new design, and she knows that it's her mother — a fine artist in her own right while she lived — who gave her the creative energy that she exudes in such abundance. It's hard for Noonie to be content living away from her father, though, and she never stops thinking of ways that will get him to come back and permanently retrieve her. Reports of exotic (and made-up) colorful diseases aren't doing the trick, but when Noonie finds out about a big art contest at her school, it strikes her as the perfect way to get her father to return. How could he stay away from her if she created a masterpiece of art and won the contest, becoming a famous artist in a single day and gaining fame and fortune for herself and her family? A real live art master in the family is way more interesting than old bones and ruined cities, right? With this end goal set directly in her sights, Noonie ponders what sort of genius slant she might want to put on her art project, which is to be a picture of her family. Her father is one kind of family to her, but at the moment wouldn't the people she actually lives with fit the bill more accurately? When she's chosen whom to include in the picture, another pressing issue for her to decide is artistic style, of which there are examples galore in the art book that she borrowed from the library years ago and carries around as her final authority on all matters of art and artists. Noonie knows that this project has to be done just right if it's going to convince her father to come home. So, how best should she try to capture her unusual family on canvas? Noonie has the soul of an artist and the natural instincts to add beauty to the world through her creations, but there's still so much that the great masters of art can teach her, perhaps even from some in-person conversation with them. Deep down, Noonie knows that her situation isn't as clear-cut as she wishes it were, that she might not be any more content jet-setting with her father than she is living here, apart from him. She does have a real family here at home, however, and perhaps her valiant effort to catch her father's attention from across the ocean will lead her to realize something important about the family she already has with her, and about the part of her mother that she will always be able to keep in the form of her own pure love of art. Noonie's Masterpiece is noteworthy and delightful reading for many of the same reasons as Betti on the High Wire: realistic, memorable characters, an emotionally moving story with a believable ending, and quick, lively writing that keeps one's mind always completely engaged are but a few of the positive traits that the two books have in common. In Noonie's Masterpiece, it seems to me that Noonie's friend Reno is to her what George was to Betti, the type of kid (and friend) who accepts both the good and bad that happens without complaining and never seems to lose hope or enthusiasm, or ultimate belief in his friend, regardless of how difficult she may be at times. Everyone could use a friend like that in their life, I think, and Reno's presence in this book continually lightens the atmosphere around Noonie, affording us the opportunity to see her good side through the type of friend she attracts. Bad kids just don't tend to have friends like Reno. This book started out as a play, but Lisa Railsback has done an outstanding job of transferring it from the stage to novel form. The illustrations provided by Sarajo Frieden are instrumental in that translation as well, as they are relied upon to relate a fair amount of the story and help set the mood for what's happening at any given moment. Without the quirky, eupeptic artwork of Sarajo Frieden, this story would not be nearly the same. I would be agreeable to the artist and author working together again in the future. I'm somewhat surprised that I heard absolutely no Newbery talk about Noonie's Masterpiece in the year it was published. Betti on the High Wire was put forth occasionally as a possible challenger for the awards, but Lisa Railback's first book wasn't talked about nearly as much. Personally, I would rank it higher than all four of the 2011 Newbery Honor books. It's a really nice story with much value for readers of any age, and I'm glad that I read it. Lisa Railsback is an exceptionally gifted writer, and I'm really looking forward to her next book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rainflight

    I thought this book was pretty good! A little depressing at first, and without that feeling of satisfaction as the character never really accomplishes very much. Otherwise, the book was still pretty good and the characters and word choice were fun and entertaining. The art was a little dramatic but also quite creative. I'd recommend it to kids 8-12, if you want to make sure they get the deeper understanding, though younger kids will still probably enjoy the book with its wacky and wild character I thought this book was pretty good! A little depressing at first, and without that feeling of satisfaction as the character never really accomplishes very much. Otherwise, the book was still pretty good and the characters and word choice were fun and entertaining. The art was a little dramatic but also quite creative. I'd recommend it to kids 8-12, if you want to make sure they get the deeper understanding, though younger kids will still probably enjoy the book with its wacky and wild characters.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    Sarajo Frieden is my sister! She emailed me the Noonie manuscript ages ago; initially she was asked to do a bare minimum of illustrating, but the project grew over time. Doodles morphed to black and white drawings and later she was asked to add color. When I finally had the book in hand, I emailed my sister: “I'm in love with Noonie - everything about it. Feel as if I'm inhaling it. Am thrilled with each detail that I notice. Just too fabulous for words. Want to read it, but don't want this firs Sarajo Frieden is my sister! She emailed me the Noonie manuscript ages ago; initially she was asked to do a bare minimum of illustrating, but the project grew over time. Doodles morphed to black and white drawings and later she was asked to add color. When I finally had the book in hand, I emailed my sister: “I'm in love with Noonie - everything about it. Feel as if I'm inhaling it. Am thrilled with each detail that I notice. Just too fabulous for words. Want to read it, but don't want this first time pleasure to end - ah, all of life's dilemmas should be so trying! Bravo, bravo, bravo!” So, not wanting the adventure to end, I read slowly reveling in the sheer whimsy of Sarajo’s artwork. Lisa Railsback wrote Noonie as a play. The translation from play to narrative left Sarajo a great deal of latitude; since there aren’t detailed descriptions of the characters, she could set them in a world of her imagining. The drawings make the story come alive. Sarajo doesn’t illustrate the actions of the text. Rather she gets at the essence of the characters, Noonie’s imaginary world, and letters she writes to her father. The book begins with these words: “a brilliant artist must try not to be afraid.” Chapter one “My Horribly Blue Life” starts off: Dear Art and History People, My name is Noonie Norton, and I’m a brilliant artist. The only small problem is that I haven’t been discovered yet. See, most brilliant artists aren’t actually discovered until they’re dead, so I thought I should explain my art while I’m still alive. That way there will be no possibility of misinterpretation. Because – well, tomorrow I might be trampled by a herd of kindergartners or I might choke to death on a rotten nut. You never know what can happen to an artist. . . . My career began like this: I painted my first self-portrait in kindergarten. That was the start of my Blue Period. My mom died, which was the beginning of everything horrible. Then my sad dad, who didn’t know what else to do, decided to leave me with Aunt Sylvia and Uncle Ralph. Double horrible. (pp. 7-8) Noonie’s dad is away and she writes him letters like this one: Dear Dad, I hate to tell you, but I’m afraid that I’ve caught a terrible case of PURPLE PRINCIPAL PNEUMONIA. Undoubtedly from sitting in Principal Baloney’s office. He sneezes like crazy and uses a hanky. You should probably come home PRONTO, before it’s too late. . . But mostly I think you should come home to see my very famous art in the school art contest. Purple, just like mom’s. Love, Noonie (p. 86) There are some notable characters. Noonie’s best friend, Reno, is a third grader (she’s in fourth) who’s smart, excels at math (Noonie’s downfall) and is clumsy. Sue Ann Pringle is Miss Perfect: “She always gets perfect grades, and she wins every single contest at school. She sells the most school candles and school calendars and school cookies every year, and she always wins the talent show for her perfect ballet routine. . . .”(p. 45). One of my favorite drawings is of Ms. Lilly, Noonie’s art teacher (p. 88). Ms. Lilly is the one teacher Noonie connects with at school. When Noonie asks Ms. Lilly if she thinks there are any happy artists, Ms. Lilly responds, “Of course. Why would you ask that?” Noonie then reflects on artists she’s been reading about: “. . .I was secretly thinking about the famous artist Frida Kahlo painting herself with a frown mouth over and over in her bed. I was thinking about Vincent van Gogh with his crazy missing ear and his wild dotty paintings. I was thinking about Andy Warhol’s funny wig falling into the trash as he hunted for soup cans and about Jean-Michel Basquiat and those graffiti artists running away from janitors and principals.” (pp. 92-93) As I’m writing this and paging through the book once again, I’m struck by the humor. I laughed aloud at both the text and the illustrations. How frustrating that I can’t show you Sarajo’s illustrations. There are drawings on most of the 208 pages, but whenever there’s not a picture or even a squiggle, the page seems to be missing something. Here’s an interview with my sister that came on line today – 4/27/2010: http://www.book-by-its-cover.com/chil... To see an animated clip of Noonie with Sarajo’s illustrations check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfY_mj... Here are links to a couple of other sites: http://www.lillarogers.com/blog/the-m... http://sarajofrieden.blogspot.com/ Mostly, I hope you’ll check out this book and enjoy it as much as I did even if Sarajo isn’t your sister!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Hudson

    Noonie is sure that she will someday be a famous artist. She knows many well-known artists go through periods where they focus on color, and she herself has been through a blue period. This came after her mom died while she was in kindergarten and her dad’s job as an archeologist took him to locations around the world while she stayed home with her Aunt Sophie, Uncle Ralph, and her younger cousin Junior. Now Noonie is in her purple period, and she’s sure her latest efforts will make her famous. N Noonie is sure that she will someday be a famous artist. She knows many well-known artists go through periods where they focus on color, and she herself has been through a blue period. This came after her mom died while she was in kindergarten and her dad’s job as an archeologist took him to locations around the world while she stayed home with her Aunt Sophie, Uncle Ralph, and her younger cousin Junior. Now Noonie is in her purple period, and she’s sure her latest efforts will make her famous. Noonie’s Masterpiece by Lisa Railsback with art by Sarajo Frieden is a delightful book about what makes a family. Noonie gets into lots of trouble as she dismisses everything in her life except her art. Her creativity is spent trying to coax her dad back home and trying to avoid math. Noonie is always looking through her book of masterpieces, and as she talks about famous artists in recent history, the reader learns about them too. Mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 9 through 12 could have a lot of fun finding photos of the famous pieces of art Noonie talks about and discussing why they may be considered great. Other topics to discuss include how art fits with more traditional school subjects like math and literature, coping with the loss of a parent, and finding what’s special inside each of us.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alea

    Noonie's Masterpiece would have been my FAVORITE book in elementary school. Noonie is a surprisingly dedicated artist for a 4th grader, she carries her art supplies with her everywhere and creates art whenever the mood strikes her, be it a parking lot or in the hallway. But it's not surprising Noonie has latched onto art the way she has, her mother died when she was younger (she was also an artist), her father is away on archaeological digs and she lives with her aunt, uncle and cousin. The story Noonie's Masterpiece would have been my FAVORITE book in elementary school. Noonie is a surprisingly dedicated artist for a 4th grader, she carries her art supplies with her everywhere and creates art whenever the mood strikes her, be it a parking lot or in the hallway. But it's not surprising Noonie has latched onto art the way she has, her mother died when she was younger (she was also an artist), her father is away on archaeological digs and she lives with her aunt, uncle and cousin. The story is very rich for those of us that love the arts, it's like a who's who of famous artists, I think it's a wonderful way for children to be introduced to these masters of the art world in a fun and relevant way. And the book doesn't just talk about art, it IS art. The illustrations and paintings in this book make it for me. They are silly, random, touching and so so colorful. I found myself being disappointed when there wasn't more than a little pattern on some of the pages after seeing other pages so over saturated with art. I love it. I would highly suggest this for elementary school aged children that show an interest in the arts!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bridget R. Wilson

    Noonie Norton is an artist. She means to be a famous artist, but she realizes that most artists don't become famous until they die. Nevertheless, Noonie wants us to know about her and her art. Right now, she's ten-years-old and she's already had a Blue Period (which coincided with her mother's death), and she is just starting her Purple Period. We leave Noonie at the beginning of her Polka-Dot period. Throughout it all, Noonie is outspoken and endearing. She learns what a family is and that appe Noonie Norton is an artist. She means to be a famous artist, but she realizes that most artists don't become famous until they die. Nevertheless, Noonie wants us to know about her and her art. Right now, she's ten-years-old and she's already had a Blue Period (which coincided with her mother's death), and she is just starting her Purple Period. We leave Noonie at the beginning of her Polka-Dot period. Throughout it all, Noonie is outspoken and endearing. She learns what a family is and that appearances are deceiving. What I thought: I've enjoyed books about young artist ever since I read Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff. Noonie's Masterpiece was no different. I was entertained from page one. Noonie comes across as much more sophisticated than her ten years, but I suppose we need to make allowances for circumstances and artistic temperaments. I loved all the relationships and interactions in the book. My favorite was Noonie's friendship with Reno. They make great friends. I liked the illustrations. They looked exactly like a talented young artist drew them. They definitely enhanced my enjoyment of the book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ann

    Ten year old Noonie Norton is an artist just waiting to be discovered. She’s sure of it. But no one else understands her. Not her Aunt Sylvia or Uncle Ralph. Not her math teacher Mrs. Tusk or Principal Maloney. Perhaps the only people who can glimpse Noonie’s creative potential are her art teacher Ms. Lilly and her best friend Reno. Noonie’s mother died five years ago, and now Noonie’s father is in faraway China examining fossilized wild yak bones. But Noonie feels a strong bond with her artisti Ten year old Noonie Norton is an artist just waiting to be discovered. She’s sure of it. But no one else understands her. Not her Aunt Sylvia or Uncle Ralph. Not her math teacher Mrs. Tusk or Principal Maloney. Perhaps the only people who can glimpse Noonie’s creative potential are her art teacher Ms. Lilly and her best friend Reno. Noonie’s mother died five years ago, and now Noonie’s father is in faraway China examining fossilized wild yak bones. But Noonie feels a strong bond with her artistic mother, and has started her Purple Phase. Noonie's Masterpiece was originally written as a play, and Noonie’s voice is fresh and full of life. The illustrations are a delight, adding texture and imbuing the story with creative energy and a fresh, contemporary look. This is not a graphic novel or a novel with occasional illustrations, but rather a highly illustrated novel with full color pen and ink drawings on nearly every page. This middle grade novel will appeal to budding artists who know how hard it is to take risks, share your artwork and make friends.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nielson

    Fourth grade Noonie is a budding artist just waiting to be found out. She knows she will be famous one day, but like most famous artists, it will probably be when she is dead. After her mother dies and her father travels the world for work, Noonie Norton lives with her aunt, uncle and cousin who don't realize her artistic genius at all. Throughout the book Noonie goes through different artistic periods--her blue period, her purple period, and even her polka dot period--all while trying to convin Fourth grade Noonie is a budding artist just waiting to be found out. She knows she will be famous one day, but like most famous artists, it will probably be when she is dead. After her mother dies and her father travels the world for work, Noonie Norton lives with her aunt, uncle and cousin who don't realize her artistic genius at all. Throughout the book Noonie goes through different artistic periods--her blue period, her purple period, and even her polka dot period--all while trying to convince her dad to come and take her away with him. The story has such a good mixture of compelling storyline, artistic flair, and humorous personality. It could also generate discussion for all levels of readers. From the theme of "a brave artist should never give up" to the death of a loved one, to different family dynamics, this book covers an array of topics. This book was an ARC so I wonder what it will look like to have the illustrations in color...even more compelling, I think.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Katrina

    This was such an artistic children's book. I learned things about artists I would have never known otherwise. It was educational and emotional and fun all wrapped up into one book. Little Noonie, who's mom has died and father is a traveling archeologist, is a wonderful artist. She has a blue period and a purple period and even a polka dotted period. All Noonie really wants is for her dad to come home and take her with him, but of course it would be too dangerous and she has school to think about This was such an artistic children's book. I learned things about artists I would have never known otherwise. It was educational and emotional and fun all wrapped up into one book. Little Noonie, who's mom has died and father is a traveling archeologist, is a wonderful artist. She has a blue period and a purple period and even a polka dotted period. All Noonie really wants is for her dad to come home and take her with him, but of course it would be too dangerous and she has school to think about. I loved Nooonie and all her artsy antics and I think you will too. Noonie's Purple Masterpieces was first a play, as I read the book I imagined that it would be a great traveling play done in schools. Remember the ones they used to have on a special afternoon assembly.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was very fun to read. I thought it was wonderfully written and the drawings looked just like if Nonnie drew them herself. I thought for sure that Noonie was going to win the art contest but even though a kindergardner won, i was still happy with the ending. In a way i loved how Noonie had her blue period and purple period. I thought in the end when she was starting her new period was kind of funny. I l oved the purple period more since purple's my favorite color. I'm also happy that Noon This book was very fun to read. I thought it was wonderfully written and the drawings looked just like if Nonnie drew them herself. I thought for sure that Noonie was going to win the art contest but even though a kindergardner won, i was still happy with the ending. In a way i loved how Noonie had her blue period and purple period. I thought in the end when she was starting her new period was kind of funny. I l oved the purple period more since purple's my favorite color. I'm also happy that Noonie's dad was tryin 2 come home just for the art contest cause that shows how much he cares. In a way I couldn't see a sequel but i could see a sequel with her new periods.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Stiles

    Noonie lives with her aunt, uncle, and cousin because her archaeologist father travels a lot. Her artist mother died when she was very young. Noonie has proclaimed herself an undiscovered artist. I loved when she went through her blue or purple periods. She dreams of winning the school's art contest because she's sure this will bring her dad home. Noonie uses her art to help her understand what family and art is. I know this book is geared for upper elementary and lower middle grades, but as an Noonie lives with her aunt, uncle, and cousin because her archaeologist father travels a lot. Her artist mother died when she was very young. Noonie has proclaimed herself an undiscovered artist. I loved when she went through her blue or purple periods. She dreams of winning the school's art contest because she's sure this will bring her dad home. Noonie uses her art to help her understand what family and art is. I know this book is geared for upper elementary and lower middle grades, but as an adult I really enjoyed this book. The artwork is fun and whimsical and adds so much to the story.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I really connected with this play and found Railsback’s Production Note about teachers and students responding to it positively very heartening. The fact that she includes the famous artists is a really fantastic educational and visual tool and certainly brings a supernatural element to a very human story. I was reminded of the presence of Mozart in Still Life with Iris and Monet in Defying Gravity. In all three of these cases, the famous artists serve as a comforting presence to the main charac I really connected with this play and found Railsback’s Production Note about teachers and students responding to it positively very heartening. The fact that she includes the famous artists is a really fantastic educational and visual tool and certainly brings a supernatural element to a very human story. I was reminded of the presence of Mozart in Still Life with Iris and Monet in Defying Gravity. In all three of these cases, the famous artists serve as a comforting presence to the main character—and it is never really explained how they got there (traveling time and space).

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gmr

    I loved this book! I was looking for a light break from a slighty heavier current read and this was just the ticket. The creative way Noonie's story is presented combined with a message good for both young readers ("a brillant artist must try not to be afraid") and adult readers (the story presented has many underlying themes as well)....definitely a book to check on the next time you are out and about. Happy reading! I loved this book! I was looking for a light break from a slighty heavier current read and this was just the ticket. The creative way Noonie's story is presented combined with a message good for both young readers ("a brillant artist must try not to be afraid") and adult readers (the story presented has many underlying themes as well)....definitely a book to check on the next time you are out and about. Happy reading!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    While looking at activities on Chronicle Books webpage in the fall, I saw this book listed. Then before I had a chance to purchase it for the library, I happened upon a copy in a used book store. It's such a fun book for budding artists or anyone who wants to learn about art and artists. Definitely adding this one to the library's collection. While looking at activities on Chronicle Books webpage in the fall, I saw this book listed. Then before I had a chance to purchase it for the library, I happened upon a copy in a used book store. It's such a fun book for budding artists or anyone who wants to learn about art and artists. Definitely adding this one to the library's collection.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Morninglight Mama

    Such a one-of-a-kind book! With a clever mix of illustrations, doodles, wild color schemes, and a whimsical first-person narrator who is struggling with a significant loss, this middle grade story is both entertaining and touching. I have to admit that I giggled more than once during this reading, and I found my heartstrings being tugged as well.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Shelley Thompson

    Fantastic story about a girl named Noonie Norton. She's a quirky kid with art on the brain. She misses her parents, and struggles to find her place in the world with family and friends. Art is her outlet and salvation. The art history descriptions of actual art Masters is a bonus. This story is inspiring and I loved all the eclectic illustrations! Thumbs up! Fantastic story about a girl named Noonie Norton. She's a quirky kid with art on the brain. She misses her parents, and struggles to find her place in the world with family and friends. Art is her outlet and salvation. The art history descriptions of actual art Masters is a bonus. This story is inspiring and I loved all the eclectic illustrations! Thumbs up!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Angie Ungaro

    I really liked this book. Read the ARC a while back so I'm going on memory. I wonder if reading the book in full color would change anything for me. I thought Noonie was a really likable and smart character. Looking forward to more in this series. I really liked this book. Read the ARC a while back so I'm going on memory. I wonder if reading the book in full color would change anything for me. I thought Noonie was a really likable and smart character. Looking forward to more in this series.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    Diary of a Wimpy Kid style book with lots of sketches and illustrations. Adds a lot of depth to the story, which is about a 4th-grade girl who's an aspiring artist, like her mother who passed away when Noonie was 5 years old. Great story about finding your own voice and not giving up. Diary of a Wimpy Kid style book with lots of sketches and illustrations. Adds a lot of depth to the story, which is about a 4th-grade girl who's an aspiring artist, like her mother who passed away when Noonie was 5 years old. Great story about finding your own voice and not giving up.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Snail

    It was quite a creative book. I really enjoyed the pictures, as they took up half of the book. But even the writing was nice. I like how Noonie lives with her aunt and uncle (and cousin), and her dad is an archeologist somewhere far off. And her "periods". Again, very original book. It was quite a creative book. I really enjoyed the pictures, as they took up half of the book. But even the writing was nice. I like how Noonie lives with her aunt and uncle (and cousin), and her dad is an archeologist somewhere far off. And her "periods". Again, very original book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    One Sentence Review: Perfectly fine and fun little book, though very difficult to remember once you've put it down. One Sentence Review: Perfectly fine and fun little book, though very difficult to remember once you've put it down.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nessie

    i love this book!!! i intend on reading this book at least 10 more times. thank you lisa railsback for writing this book!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Taima

    this book was amazing. the pictures and the story together were just amazing. enough said.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Northrup

    Too many comments about how artists don't need school and they certainly don't need math. I just couldn't take it anymore. Abandoned Too many comments about how artists don't need school and they certainly don't need math. I just couldn't take it anymore. Abandoned

  25. 4 out of 5

    Talia

    i liked this book because it was about an imaginative girl with a craving for art

  26. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    Like this almost as much as Betti on the High Wire. Hope she writes more. I think is skews too young for SPoT-MS though.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joan Marie

    fun read for young readers fun format with lots of colorful graphics; perfect for artsy Noonie, a 3rd grader

  28. 4 out of 5

    Debra B.

    I really enjoyed this imaginative book. I am trying to decide what level of reading a child would need to be in order to read this book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    HENNESSEY

    I LOVE THIS STORY

  30. 5 out of 5

    Horace Mann Family Reading Challenge

    I love the character Noonie. N

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