Every so often I encounter a book that I think has something to say to anyone (of any age) who reads it. Today's title is just such a book. It delighted and inspired me, and I plan on always keeping it on hand for those days when I need to be reminded that there is nothing wrong with being a novice artist, a novice violinist, or a novice anything else. It is better to be a novice than to never begin at all.
For ages 5 and up
Random House UK, 2012, 978-0-224-08371-3
Not long ago, Dog, who loves books, opened up a bookshop. He has a happy life sharing books with others and reading books by himself. Then one day he gets a parcel, and inside the parcel Dog finds a book that is completely blank. What on earth is one supposed to do with a book that has no words or pictures in it?
Then Dog reads a note that his Aunt Dora wrote on the inside cover of the book. In the note she says that she hopes that “the line you draw” will “open a door to some wonderful adventures.” Now some of us would find this note confusing, but Dog understands what Aunt Dora means. The book is for drawing in!
Dog quickly sets about getting pens, brushes, pencils, and the other things he is going to need. Then he draws a door…and walks through it and onto the blank page in his sketch book.
The first thing Dog does is to draw a stickman to be his friend, and together Dog and the stickman doodle away until the page is filled up. They turn the page, and decide to draw some more companions, and soon a duck, owl, and a crab are on the page as well, happily paintings and doodling with Dog’s art supplies.
One the next page, the friends decide that it is time for them to “go on an outing.” Luckyily for them, they can draw anything they need so that they can go on an adventure.
For some lucky people, drawing comes as naturally as walking or eating. The rest of us have to explore a little before we feel comfortable with a pencil or paintbrush in our hands. This splendid book will show anyone who is unsure about how to start drawing that the only thing to do is to start drawing and to see where it takes you. Dog’s easy confidence, even though he is not an artist, is infectious, and readers are likely to find, when they have finished the story, that they too would like to have an adventure on a blank page.
Though this book is about Dog’s drawing adventure, the message in the tale could apply to any of the many adventures that people embark on in life. None of us really know how to do things at first. We all have to explore and practice before we properly know what we are doing.
Readers who enjoyed this book will want to read the first Dog book, Dog Loves Books.