Ozzie and the Art Contest
by Dana Sullivan
Ozzie loves to draw. Ozzie loves drawing and being an artist more than anything—even more than skateboarding! So when his teacher, Miss Cattywhompus, announces an art contest, Ozzie can’t wait to get started. He works really hard on his picture of a goat. He knows it will win first place. There is only one problem. Miss Cattywhompus didn’t ask the class to draw pictures of goats—the contest instructions say "Draw a Boat." Ozzie’s picture doesn’t win first place. And even though it does win honorable mention, he is devastated. How could he not win? He worked so hard. With a little help from Miss Cattywhompus, Ozzie comes to see that he, with his love of art, has won something far more important than a contest. In his picture book debut, Dana Sullivan has used his personal experience with artistic disappointment to create a warm, lovable character whose story will feel familiar to anyone who has followed his or her passion and hit an ever-so-slight bump in the road.
- Dewey: E
- Graphics: Full-color illustrations
- Hardcover (9781585368204): 32 pages, 10 (w) x 10 (h), © 2013, 07/01/2013
- PDF (9781627530392): 32 pages, © 2013, 07/01/2013
- Hosted ebook (9781627535748): 32 pages, © 2014, 08/15/2013
- Suggested Interest Level: Age 0-4 - Age 6
- Suggested Reading Level: Grade 2
- ATOS Reading Level: 2.4
- ATOS Interest Level: LG
- Accelerated Reader® Quiz: 162417
- Accelerated Reader® Points: 0.5
- JUVENILE FICTION / General (JUV000000)
- JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Dogs (JUV002070)
- JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories (JUV019000)
- Creative Child Award Book of the Year, Winner, 2013
School Library Journal Reviews "Ozzie and the Art Contest"
Reviewed on 1 July 2013
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.
Examiner.com Reviews "Ozzie and the Art Contest"
Reviewed on 12 June 2013
In “Ozzie and the Art Contest,” Dana Sullivan teaches young readers some very important life lessons. Ozzie, a bright blue dog, is very excited when his teacher announces that there will be an art contest. Ozzie loves to draw and he is sure he will win.
He quickly reads the instructions on the way home and uses his skills in folding paper to make a paper airplane out of the instruction sheet. Once home, he begins to draw his picture of a goat. His good friend agrees to model for the picture. Ozzie just knows he’ll win the contest — he knows a lot about goats!
On Monday, he proudly turns in his picture. The teacher tells the class that the winners will be announced the next day. Ozzie can hardly wait to see his picture in first place.
But the next morning, when he sees the winners displayed on the top row of the bulletin board, his is not among them. He looks and finally sees his picture of the goat in the bottom row, under the heading “Honorable Mention.”
While the rest of the class is cheerfully celebrating a successful art contest, Ozzie sits miserably at a table alone. He is not happy. His caring teacher notices and joins Ozzie, who simply can’t understand why his lovely drawing of a goat didn’t win.
Clever second graders with whom I read the story were quick to notice that all the winning pictures were of boats, not goats. They also quickly surmised that the contest was to draw a picture of a boat, not a goat.
Ozzie’s teacher gives him some simple advice. She says, “Winning isn’t the only reason to do things. Especially when it’s something you really like to do.”
Two life lessons. Read the instructions carefully. Winning isn’t everything — just have fun. What great topics for discussion with primary students. This is a perfect read aloud for classrooms from kindergarten through third grade.
Author, Illustrator: Dana Sullivan
Dana Sullivan was born in Los Angeles, California, and has been drawing on scraps of paper and in the margins of math tests for as long as he can remember. Since he has always loved reading and drawing, he got a degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington and then one in Graphic Design from Seattle Central Community College. Dana was the Creative Director at Costco Wholesale for 16 years until he realized he wasn’t being all that creative. He quit to become a full-time writer and illustrator of children’s books. He tutors reading at the neighborhood elementary school, is the resident on-the-spot cartoonist at 826 Seattle (one of the national chapters of Dave Eggers’s 826 Valencia nonprofit organization), and is on the advisory board of the SCBWI Northwest Chapter. Dana has been married to the same lovely Vicki for 30 years and still misses the real Ozzie, an incredibly stubborn and wonderful Australian Cattle Dog (Blue Heeler) named Max, who continues to inspire. They live near Seattle, Washington, with their dog, Benny
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