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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Dog Loves Drawing, written and illustrated by Louise Yates. Alfred A. Knopf, Random House. 2012. $18.99 ages 3 and up

"He stepped through it, and on the empty page in front of him, Dog drew a stickman. "Hello," said the stickman. "Hello," said Dog. "I'm not sure what else to draw." "Let's DOODLE!" suggested the stickman. "That's the best way to come up with ideas." So that is what they did. They they turned the page together."

It was great fun to read and post Louise Yates' Dog Loves Books, and now I am going to enjoy sharing her new book with you, too. You will remember that Dog opened a bookstore because of his penchant for reading, and his desire to share the love.

When his Aunt sends him a new book he is excited, and then surprised that it has no words, no pictures. Realizing that it is a sketchbook, he sets to work filling its pages. It is quite the adventure for Dog. He now has new friends: a stickman, a duck, an owl, and a crab. Together, they can share good times and great fun!

With crisp white backgrounds and using watercolor and colored pencils, Louise Yates conjures up action and interest for those who share her story. Be sure to check out the endpapers...they are a delight! Celebrating creativity and the joy of the imagination, this book is sure to encourage aspiring artists to try their hand at creating new worlds for themselves. It's art for art's sake, no worrying about perfection. There is scribbling and great joy taken in creating a wondrous journey as the friends travel together. The monster at the end of the book provides the perfect foil for the freedom of their journey, and sends them all back home. Dog leaps through the door back into the bookstore and ensures the safety of each of his new friends, while also keeping the monster from spoiling any more of their fun.

This is an energetic romp, with the tools used for creating the artwork almost tangible. The characters are on the move constantly, and provide much to attract the attention of the even the youngest listener. It's guaranteed to set them to thinking about their own art. Be sure to have supplies at hand when the reading is done, or make it a gift for your favorite little one, with a sketchbook included...and perhaps some pencil crayons to boot!

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