Bridget's Beret by Tom Lichtenheld
If you’ve ever had a lucky rock, special stuffed animal, or favorite hat that you felt gave you extra powers or that certain edge you need to be successful, then you will understand Bridget’s attachment to her jaunty French beret in Tom Lichtenheld’s new picture book, Bridget’s Beret. Bridget is an artist, and everyone in her family and neighborhood enjoys her talent. When she is drawing, she is truly “in the zone” – she won’t even stop for an ice cream cone. She doesn’t need fancy art supplies and is happiest painting outdoors on a simple table. She just requires one thing: her big, black beret that gave her that “certain je ne sais qoi.”
One fateful day, a gust of wind comes along and sweeps Bridget’s beret out of sight. She files a Missing Beret Report and tries a variety of substitutes, including a fez and a pith helmet. Nothing does the trick, and Bridget stops drawing altogether, claiming artist’s block. What solves this impasse is her little sister’s plaintive plea for a simple lemonade stand sign. Soon Bridget is creating masterpieces a la Van Gogh and Whistler, a smorgasbord of lemonade stand-themed creations.
Tom Lichtenheld’s drawings are colorful and appealing. References to artist are sprinkled through some pages, but this picture book would appeal to anyone whose creativity has been temporarily interrupted, but eventually regained. It is also a testimony to the true source of inspiration: that it comes from within.