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Miss Hawthorn’s room is neat and tidy, not a pencil or paintbrush is out of place. And that’s how she likes it. And she likes trees that are colored green and apples that are painted red. Miss Hawthorn does not like things to be different or out of the ordinary. Into Miss Hawthorn’s classroom comes young Willow. She doesn’t color inside the lines and she sees pink trees and blue apples. What will Miss Hawthorn think? Magical things can happen when your imagination is allowed to run wild, and for Miss Hawthorn the notion of what is art and what is possible is forever changed.


2010 Oprah’s Kids’ Reading list (6- to 9-year-olds)

2009-2010 Kids’ Wings Award List – By Kids’ Wings Creative Educational Associates

2009 Storytelling World Honor Award – Young Listeners category

2009 Mom’s Choice Award Children’s Picture Book – Inspirational/Motivational

2009 Mom’s Choice Award Distinctive Illustration

2009 Mom’s Choice Award Most Outstanding Children’s Book

2009 Kansas State Reading Circle selection

2009 Children’s Choice Book Award Finalist, Grades 3-4

2009 IRA/CBC Children’s Choice Reading List

2008 National Parenting Publication Honor Award (NAPPA)


"In dictatorial Miss Hawthorn’s cheerless art room, students sit “in their rows, silent and still, like eggs in a carton” producing cookie-cutter busywork. “Everyone except Willow.” Miss Hawthorn does not appreciate Willow’s sweet nature or her inventive, colorful outlook on life. Willow is always in trouble with her wizened teacher, especially “for not painting things the way Miss Hawthorn wanted her to.” When she tries to share her artistic excitement via a well-loved art book full of flamingo-pink trees, blue apples and other works of wonder, Miss Hawthorn rebuffs her. “Horrid little girl.” But stony Miss Hawthorn is transformed by a holiday gift—the only one she receives—of that treasured art book, and when her students return after the holidays, they find a very different teacher, indeed. Motivational speaker Brennan-Nelson’s message hits its mark, and Moore’s energetic watercolors fairly vibrate—Willow would approve!" - Kirkus Review

"Willow, the protagonist of this book has a personality reminiscent of Eloise and Madeline. Her stubborn determination to be imaginative and artistic even as her art teacher, Miss Hawthorne tries to break the spirit of creativity with rigid rules eventually transforms her teacher. Willow’s open, loving spirit is innocent and generous and the story is an inspiring example of adult-child interaction. The illustrations are energetic, riveting paintings that transport the reader into a parallel universe of creative world." - Omiliju Miranda,

“Teachers aren’t the only ones teaching in this picture book about a precocious girl who has her own ideas about what makes good art. Fortunately, Willow doesn’t bend to the strict art teacher’s rules in this poignant story about celebrating individuality and being true to your heart.” — Kansas City Star

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