I think the idea of drawing your own adventure is lovely and the first time we read Dog Loves Drawing I just wanted to keep turning the pages to see what and who Dog and his friends were going to draw next. Now we read the story at a more leisurely pace so we can appreciate all the little details in the pictures.
The Story: Dog loves books and one day Aunt Dora sends him a blank sketchbook. On the first page Dog draws a door and walks through it. Then he draws a stickman who doodles with him until the stickman suggests that they draw some animal friends. The animals doodle with them before they decide to go on an outing so Dog draws a train. When the train stops Dog draws a boat and Crab draws the sea. They picnic in the boat and sail to an island but when the monster that Duck draws chases them it is Dog’s quick thinking (and drawing!) which saves them.
Dog Loves Drawing is a great first adventure story for young children. At first the stickman just encourages Dog to doodle but when Dog starts drawing the animals his childlike pictures become more detailed, it is a great way of showing children that drawing takes practice. When we first read the story my daughter wanted to know what doodling was so we had a great doodling session. The text is easy to read but for me it is Louise Yates’ colourful, line drawn illustrations that draw the reader into the story. The characters have lovely smiley expressions when they are having fun together and there is a real sense of teamwork and camaraderie. All their problems are solved through drawing, when they are hungry they draw some very tasty looking sandwiches and cakes and the stickman solves the problem of who will drive the train by drawing himself a driver’s hat!
This would be a great book to use in the classroom as a stimulus to creative writing. Encouraging a child to draw an adventure is a fantastic way to stimulate his / her imagination before beginning the writing process. My daughter and I have had fun drawing our own stories after reading the book.
Age Range: 2 +
Author / Illustrator: Louise Yates
Louise Yates’ Dog Loves Books is a Roald Dahl Funny Prize winner.