Scribble

Deborah Freedman, Author
Deborah Freedman, Author Knopf $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-375-83966-5
Reviewed on: 05/21/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Library Binding - 40 pages - 978-0-375-93966-2
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In this unpredictable blend of comic strip and children's drawings, two short-tempered siblings compare their magic marker artwork. Proud older sister Emma shows off her picture of a sleeping princess on bubblegum-pink poster paper. Defensive younger sister Lucie, less practiced with her pen, chooses mustard-gold paper and draws “a kitty” with a crude teardrop-shaped head and sticklike limbs. “It looks like a scribble,” Emma tells her. Indignant, Lucie grabs a pen and scratches tangled loops, like twisted vines, all over Emma's Sleeping Beauty. This sibling squabble takes an unexpected turn, however, when Lucie's scrawled kitty, christened Scribble, decides to rescue the damsel. He leaps onto the pink page with Lucie and her actual pet kitten in hot pursuit. But “before Lucie could stop him, Scribble scrambled into a Giant Thicket, where deep within he discovered the Princess Aurora, who had been asleep for One Hundred Years.” Scribble unravels the inky loops and finds an unlikely true love, a la Norton Juster's The Dot and the Line . Freedman, in her picture book debut, pictures the dueling sisters and their white kitten semi-naturalistically in pen, ink and watercolor, depicting their showdown in tidy comic panels with voice bubble dialogue. She creates their drawings in the naïve style of Lauren Child, and when Scribble comes to life, this anarchic, digitally enhanced art fills the pages and breaks the frames. The juxtaposition of realistic portraits and more playful designs results in often chaotic spreads, but Freedman's willingness to color outside the lines pays off—she's created a clever gem of a book. Ages 3-6. (May)

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