Self Portrait, Grown up Lady

Art Book, How

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I’m a judge. I’m a princess judge and I have a never stop glowing rose in my hair and I have curly hair, very curly hair, and my best fruit hat. I’m carrying a grocery bag and it has two loafs of bread and two cherry pies and two cakes and I have blueberries and strawberries in my basket and candy and watermelon and guess what I have? Everything in the whole wide world that you could possibly eat. It’s a huge bag.
-Edie, 4

Edie has been drawing a lot of picture sets lately, four princesses in a row, or five similar garden scenes. As four year olds usually do, she developed a quirky shorthand for human figures. One evening this week she showed me her work and I asked if I could have a turn. She watched intently as I drew. I made a big point of feeling and noticing the elements of my face, adding them carefully to my amateurish drawing, from the top and working down.

When I handed the pen back to her, she paused. She felt her own face. She counted out eight curls, drew the face outline, and added two big eyes. Trying my best not to giggle at the big spider, I transcribed most of what she said. She continued to feel her own face and add details, many of which she had never depicted before. For the first time, she illustrated teeth, the shape of lips, ears, eyelashes, and fingers.

I don’t know what is a princess judge or why she needs a fruit hat.

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