Every time we open a book we set off on an journey. We don’t know where we’re going, we don’t know who we’ll meet. We just hope we’ll come out (more) alive at the end. Now imagine if you could make your dream adventure come true… Who would you invite to join you? What provisions would you take? Where would you go?
Louise Yates’ wonderfully warm, deliciously drawn Dog Loves Drawing is all about exactly this. Friends. Cake. A little bit of danger. Being able to create your own adventure.
And the power of imagination and pencils on paper.
Dog, who you may already know owns a bookshop, receives an unusual type of book from his Aunt: a book full of blank pages. Inscribed inside the front cover is an exciting invitation:
Dog enthusiastically dives in, draws a door and, yes, walks through into his own adventure.
Starting with the simplest of stick men, Dog draws friends and before long they are off exploring a world they create as they go along. They want sandwiches? They draw sandwiches. They want to explore? They draw a boat. Then for fun, Dog’s friend, Duck, draws a Monster…. oh no! How will Dog and his friends escape? Will Dog make it back to the bookshop safely?
Yates has made a perfect picture book with Dog Loves Drawing. The story is so alluring for kids (I want something? I’ll draw it and make it come to life! Feel the power in my fingers!) and it is told with warmth and humour. The little impishness that drives Duck to draw a monster is so believable and causes that addictive rush of adrenalin that makes a story feel so satisfying, once safe and sound again.
Yates’ illustrations are deceptively simple. They do indeed look like something a young child reading the book might be able to sketch for themselves; just like the words, the pictures are empowering! Yet they are also light and graceful. The facial expressions of the adventurers are a particular delight (we like Duck and Owl arguing, and the look of bliss on Stick Man’s face when travelling at speed in the steam train), lifting Dog and his friends off the page and into living breathing characters.
I defy you to read this book and NOT want to get drawing straight away!
After reading this book for the very first time I succumbed, in that heady rush of new love, to getting something I’ve been hankering after for a long time – a proper pencil sharpener!
I honestly think it is a thing of beauty. And even now, at 38, sharpening pencils holds an addictive sway over me! I love the sound as the shavings are made, and then the rainbow dust that is created has its own magic, to say nothing of the end result:
Gorgeously inviting, pinpoint sharp pencils!
And with pencils ready, I prepared some little sketchbooks with the girls. I used this tutorial found via NurtureStore to make mini bound books out of coloured paper:
Armed with our sketchbooks and pencils we set about creating our own illustrated books. Yes, the observant amongst you will see that on this particular occasion the girls shunned my pencils and went for felt tips (tis ever thus – the hard work of a parent going unappreciated!).
Once our books were complete we sold them to each other in a pop-up bookshop.
Whilst making our illustrated books we listened too:
Other activities I’d love to try alongside Dog Loves Drawing include:
I’ll be reading Dog Loves Drawing at school this week. As well as making our own sketchbooks we’ll be making pencil toppers out of pipecleaners and googly eyes, desk tidys out of cardboard rolls, and using these activity sheets Louise Yates has shared on her website. And of course we’ll be doing lots and lots of drawing!
When did you last do some drawing? What materials are favourites in your family for drawing?
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The review reflects my own and honest opinion.