cover image Doodleday


Ross Collins. Albert Whitman, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8075-1683-6

Collins's (Dear Vampa) illustrative gifts are never in doubt as he romps through the tale of young Harvey, who discovers that on Doodleday, every creature he draws with his crayons comes to life. Collins's narration is stylish (" 'That's it,' thought Harvey. 'I'll draw a fly.' It was an excellent fly. Fat... and hairy and... What was that noise in the kitchen?"), and the Sorcerer's Apprentice%E2%80%93like mayhem that erupts as Harvey tries to clean up his mess supplies plenty of mock horror; the contrast between Collins's cheerful cartoon neighborhood and the scribbly crayon animals wreaking havoc is easily the most rewarding part of the book. A spider that is supposed to eat the fly ties up his father; a huge bird and giant squid pull the gutters off houses and uproot lampposts. The solution%E2%80%94a kind of Mom-ex-machina who steps off the page and tames the crayoned villains%E2%80%94will draw laughs. Loose ends may plague sticklers (how is it that Harvey has never been warned about Doodleday before?), but most readers will be too caught up in all the action and fun to care. Ages 3%E2%80%938. (May)