Picture book highlights the importance of imaginationThe story begins when Dog receives a book in the mail from his Aunt Dora. But the book has no words or pictures. On the opening page, Aunt Dora writes, “May the lines you draw open a door to some wonderful adventures.”
By: Jean Patrick, Republic Book Columnist
Somewhere in your memory, you might remember “Harold and the Purple Crayon,” a picture book about a boy who uses a crayon to help create his adventures.
“Dog Loves Drawing,” by Louise Yates, is built on a similar premise.
The story begins when Dog receives a book in the mail from his Aunt Dora. But the book has no words or pictures. On the opening page, Aunt Dora writes, “May the lines you draw open a door to some wonderful adventures.”
Without hesitation, Dog finds his pens, brushes and pencils and draws a door. Once inside, he draws Stickman. They doodle, hold hands and turn the page.
Then, the progression begins. Dog draws a duck who draws an owl who draws a crab. With colored pencils larger than they are, the new friends draw a train which takes them to the sea where they draw a boat and an endless sky.
All looks pretty good until Duck draws a monster …
The tension is short-lived. Not only does Dog know how to draw a door, but he also knows how to finish the story — not just about the monster, but also about Aunt Dora.
Author and illustrator Louise Yates uses colored pencil and watercolor to tell Dog’s story. However, she also includes scans of actual colored pencils. In this way she shows the mix of imagination and concrete.
Yates also shows the humor that this kind of spontaneous storytelling allows. When Dog and the others are on the boat, Stickman draws a sandwich, Owl copies him and also draws a sandwich. But “the duck drew an enormous cake because he was hungriest of them all.”
The tale that Dog draws is not particularly remarkable. However, Yates effectively shows how spontaneous doodling and characters can develop into story. In fact, it’s a perfect springboard to show kids how to follow their imagination.
“Dog Loves Drawing.” By Louise Yates. Knopf, 2012. 40 pp.