Silver Spring, Md, December 21, 2012 - Dog Loves Drawing by Louise Yates ISBN: 9780375870675
Dog owns a bookstore, and he loves reading. One day, he receives a book with no words and no pictures as a gift from his Aunt Dora. At first he is confused until he realizes it is a sketchbook. He opens the book and begins to test his drawing skills. At first he is hesitant, and you can see in his x’s and o’x that he is unsure what to draw or how to go about it. But then he decides to unleash his imagination.
The first thing he draws is a door, through which he and we enter into his drawn imagination. From that point on, everything he draws comes to life. Dog decides he needs a friend, so he draws a stickman. The stickman draws a duck, who in turn draws a owl, who draws a crab.
The rest of the story follows the characters as each of the five friends start drawing and creating adventures for themselves. They ride a train, go sailing, and discover an island where they have a picnic, but then someone draws a monster, which chases them from page to page to the end of the book. Dog draws himself a door that brings him, and us, back out of the sketchbook and into the bookstore.
The style in which the book is illustrated is wonderful. The drawings really look like the doodles you would see in a sketchbook. They are imaginative but still maintain enough realism to be attractive and recognizable. Because Yates has envisioned a separate world inside the pages of the sketchbook, the entire world is contained there, but it is not constricted by the limits of a single page. The characters chase each other literally from page to page in certain sections of the story with the pictures wrapping around page edges and leaping the binding to the other side.
There are words that tell the story, but the pictures do most of the work, and where appropriate, the narrative gets out of the way to let the drawings tell the story on their own. While the story is set inside a sketchbook and the pictures are styled in kind, they are not simple pencil doodles. The characters are expressive. The pictures are colorful, and the outlined style makes the drawings that are there pop off the otherwise blank page.
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers in August of 2012 it is available in hardcover or as an ebook for nook or Kindle. Dog Loves Drawing has been shortlisted for the 2013 Red House Book Award.
Lovers of Dog Loves Books also by Yates and Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson will find Dog Loves Drawing a welcome addition to the bookshelf. This is the type of book that will engage a young audience and may also encourage them to pick up the crayons and ask for their own sketchbook.
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