Bear's Picture by Daniel Pinkwater, Illustrated by D. B. Johnson
I have a thing for art books. (In case you haven't already noticed.)
This one is fun--I love how it celebrates creativity and the power of each person's imagination.
Bear decides to paint a picture, he starts with a an orange squiggle, then adds more and more colors and shapes.
Two fine proper gentlemen come along. (I'm sure you can guess that they will turn down their noses at bear's picture.)
They begin by saying, "Bear's can't paint pictures." To which bear replies, "Why not? Why can't a bear do anything he likes?"
The two fine proper gentlemen then tell Bear that nobody can tell what his picture is supposed to be. Bear, undaunted, replies, "I can tell." and he adds some more green splotches.
The two men try to figure out what bear has painted. They make a few guesses and bear tells them they are wrong. He then tells them what the picture really is. The two men say, "It doesn't look like any of those things to us." And bear replies with, "It doesn't have to. It is MY picture."
The men leave saying, "Bears are not the sort of fellows to paint pictures." But Bear is not brought down by their limited vision. The books ends with, "But the bear looked at his picture...and was happy."
Juliet LOVES bear's painting and always spends several minutes at the end looking at it--turning it upside down and then right side up. She then says, "I'm happy, mama."