From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 6–There's lots to look at and lots to ponder in this playful and powerful paean to the creative process, to the astonishing malleability of visual and verbal imagery, and to the evolution of ideas. Picture this: "Painters painting./Climbers climbing./Climbers painting./Painters climbing./Painters painting climbing climbers." Gelman's 21 words and Zelinsky's computer-manipulated art morph merrily here, demonstrating the power of perspective and the truth that even a tiny twist on the expected can effect a transmogrification (after all, people climb, but so do animals and kites and roses). Zelinsky uses bright, loose watercolor to paint the earnest girl whose doodles are not confined by letters or lines or the bounds of the notebook paper on which she draws with her nifty, fat-barreled, multicolor-cartridge ballpoint pen. As her innovatively visual definitions of deceptively simple sentences expand and gather momentum, viewers are treated to an ever-wider view of her work, until only a gatefold can accommodate the product of her invention run amok. ("Painters hugging bakers climbing throwers painting huggers mowing fliers throwing climbers flying mowers baking teachers teaching.") While her sophisticated and comic cartoon art is assuredly not
"Doodling 101," children and adults alike will be inspired to allow their own scribblings to soar off the page as hers do, the better to reflect the variety and exponentially amazing possibilities of interpreting the written word. Challenge the limitations of the literal (whatever that may be). Challenge the limitations of the figurative. Play with possibilities. Just doodle it!–Kathy Krasniewicz, Perrot Library, Old Greenwich, CT
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Gr. 2-4, younger for lap sharing. A young girl, rendered in spare watercolors, scribbles doodles at her school desk, while behind her, a large sheet of notebook paper shows the multicolored line drawings of her imaginings, accompanied by a few explanatory words. "Teachers teaching" reads the text above a picture of three instructors that is followed by spreads that show "Fliers flying," "Fliers teaching," "Teachers flying," and then "Fliers flying teachers," which is hilariously illustrated with World War I-style flying aces steering winged and soaring teachers. The stream-of-consciousness doodler continues with increasingly silly combinations of subjects and verbs, and by the final wild, cumulative spread, bakers have cooked up a sheet of lawnmowers, and football players have flung koalas toward the goalposts ("No!" cries the girl when she realizes what she's drawn). The minimal words make an appealing, rhythmic poem, but Zelinsky's whimsical illustrations give this title its gleeful, inventive humor. Elementary-school language-arts teachers will want this for the delicious wordplay, while young children (as well as older art students and adults working through creative blocks) will delight in the clever, fanciful scenes and the powerful girl who, with her pen and a twist on words, creates a world and changes it on a whim. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved