cover image Doodleville (Doodleville #1)

Doodleville (Doodleville #1)

Chad Sell. Knopf, $20.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-9848-9471-7

Nine-year-old Drew’s primary companions, a friendly-looking crew of living Doodles that live in paper town Doodleville, are known to escape into the human world, where they can alter art. Even so, Drew takes them on an art club trip to the Art Institute of Chicago, where they run amok through classic paintings, sitting at the bar in Hopper’s Nighthawks and enacting a pillow fight in van Gogh’s Arles bedroom. Drew’s increasing insecurity about her creations—visualized by Sell (The Cardboard Kingdom) as erratic, sometimes eraserlike scribbles that cut through colorful spreads—spurs her to create leviathan-like Levi: “Something big! Something amazing!” that can compare to her peer group’s impressive characters. But when her peers don’t understand Levi, Drew’s anxiety manifests, turning Levi into a monstrous, art-destroying creature that the club must band together to handle as Drew learns the power of embracing one’s style. Sell’s caricatured illustrations provide strong action, and single-hue overlays (purples, greens) highlight emotionally charged moments for the friend group, which includes kids of various ethnicities and gender identities. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House. (June) [/em]