We all have fond memories of a beloved parent, sibling, teacher, or librarian reading us picture books that we wanted to keep reading over and over again. Picture books are special. There’s something about the mix of words, illustrations, and characters that leaves a huge impact on us as a kids. The best of these books become classics and are passed down from generation to generation. THE UGLY DOODLES feels like one of those classic picture books.
The book focuses on Raven Rembrandt, a young artist who loves drawing more than anything else. She draws every day, but all she can create are ugly doodles. She’s not proud of her work, and her bad drawings continuously haunt her. Yes, they literally haunt her by coming to life and following her around. She actually has trouble sleeping at night because of all of the torment she feels from her own work.
If you’re a creator, you can probably relate to Raven’s predicament. We aren’t always proud of our work, and tend to compare it to that of others (which only makes us feel worse about ourselves). These negative feelings often begin when we are young, and prevent us from continuing to create and get better. Many people give up on their creative hobbies because they feel that they aren’t good, and are “haunted” by what they think is bad art. What THE UGLY DOODLES teaches is that all good art starts somewhere, and you won’t create a masterpiece until you experience a lot of failure, and practice a lot. It does all of this with amazing, gothic illustrations that create a picture book with a dark atmosphere and a hopeful and uplifting message.
This is the perfect picture book to read to children who love to draw, paint, color, or do anything else that is considered creative. It is especially ideal for a reading and discussion in an elementary school art classroom. Raven is adorable and relatable and has a great message for young artists everywhere.
CRITICS HAVE SAID
- “Atmospheric illustrations add an unexpected tickle of dramatic tension.”
IF YOU LOVE THIS BOOK, THEN TRY:
- Taste Your Words by Bonnie Clark, 2020
- The Starkeeper by Faith Pray, 2020
- Gustavo, the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago, 2020