Randy, the Badly Drawn Horse by T.L. McBeth

Randy, the Badly Drawn Horse by T.L. McBeth. Henry Holt and Company, 9781250185907, 2020

Format: Hardcover

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre: Picture book

What did you like about the book? This book shows an imaginary adventure story told through art created by a young child. Dialogue bubbles expand the story to include a conversation between the child and their mom. The illustrations of Randy the horse appear to be drawn in crayon by a young child on white paper. This book doesn’t quite break the fourth wall, but does include “materials” that appear in the book, like a knife that has fallen and spread peanut butter and jelly on the pages, and trees made from craft sticks and pom-poms. The message of “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” comes across clearly, but is well-integrated into a funny story. This book will inspire creativity in readers who may not consider themselves the best artists, but can draw and use materials around them in new ways.

Anything you did not like about the book. Nothing

To whom would you recommend this book? This would be a great book for a classroom or art teacher to use to inspire students to create. It will appeal to readers who like funny animal stories. It could also be a great book to help children practice their reading. (A new reader could read the dialogue bubbles, which use a large font and minimal text with easy vocabulary, while the adult could read the other text.) Read alike with The Day the Crayons Quit (Daywalt). 

Who should buy this book? Elementary school librarians, public librarians

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sarah Bickel, Greenlodge Elementary School, Dedham Massachusetts

Date of review: August 22, 2020

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