Ozzie and the Art Contest

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.

Format List Price Your Price Qty
$15.99 $15.99
$27.99 $27.99
Interest Level Preschool - Grade 1
Reading Level Grade 2
Dewey E
ATOS Reading Level 2.4
Guided Reading Level
Language English
Publisher Sleeping Bear Press
Available Formats Hardcover (9781585368204), PDF (9781627530392), Hosted ebook (9781627535748)
Copyright 2013, 2014
Number of Pages 32
Dimensions 10 x 10
Graphics Full-color illustrations
  • Creative Child Award Book of the Year, Winner, 2013

School Library Journal Reviews "Ozzie and the Art Contest"

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"

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 lives near Seattle, where he loves to hike with his wife, Vicki, and dog, Bennie, when he’s not drawing or writing. He wrote and illustrated Ozzie and the Art Contest and Kay Kay’s Alphabet Safari and illustrated the Digger and Daisy early reader series. His favorite animal is the dog, and his favorite vegetable is peanut butter. Since he was a kid, he’s wanted a red velvet cape, and now he has one! See pictures of Dana in his cape and other stuff at www.danajsullivan.com.

Narrator: Adam Weber