Title: Bettina Valentino and the Picasso Club
Author: Niki Daly
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Concepts: incentives, jobs
Review: Bettina Valentino thinks outside of the box when it comes to art, so no wonder her frustration grows as the art teacher at school continues to emphasize neatness and structure. That is, until Bayside Prep hires a new art teacher who defies conventions, inspires his students, and is utterly divine. Not only does Mr. Popart bring the best out of talented artists like Bettina, he even encourages a shy copy-cat named Ditto to come out of his shell and create some nifty computer art.
All is well until a rich set of parents demonstrate their intolerance of Mr. Popart’s flamboyant style by threatening to withdraw their financial support for the school. Either Mr. Popart goes, or their money goes. Who will prevail makes for an interesting story that revolves around how people respond to incentives and how creativity knows no bounds.
Review by: The Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children