Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
What did you like about the book? Elise Gravel invites the reader in to the world of her little black notebook. In it are creatures and places familiar and imaginary, in a style that embodies quirkiness, whimsy, and humor. She shows the reader that there is no limit to what a sketchbook can contain: monsters, mushrooms, Marvin the man with lots of stuff in his beard (I see The Great Antonio, a recent graphic biography here!), wiener dogs, a fart festival and a page of ugly drawings. This really is an open-hearted drawing prompt for kids, or adults, who want to draw more. There is advice (“Draw all the time!”), technique (an “ultra secret” method of drawing a hedgehog), and lots of ideas and encouragement. Her colorful cartoons are so appealing and accessible, yet unique, and her materials, felt-tip markers and crayons, are completely in reach of anyone. A translation of N’importe quoi!
To whom would you recommend this book? This is for budding artists, or for anyone who needs a push to put marker to paper. Reminds me of Lynda Barry’s Syllabus (for adults). And for fans of Elise Gravel’s picture books and graphic work.
Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries, art classrooms
Where would you shelve it ? 741.5
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes! Admit it, you need a nudge to create!
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA
Date of review: April 7, 2017