cover image Andrew Draws

Andrew Draws

David McPhail. Holiday House, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-3063-5

With understated, almost reportorial watercolors and prose, McPhail (Bad Dog) offers a marvelous portrait of the artist as a very, very young man. “What a pretty flower!” says Andrew’s mother when presented with one of the first drawings Andrew makes after finding a crayon under the sofa. “It’s a dog,” says Andrew, coolly undeterred—as all great artists are—by a clueless, if well-meaning, public. Andrew’s creative drive proves unrelenting (and so is his hair, which streams behind him like the coif of a vintage hood ornament), but he’s always fully in control of his muse, which should make him irresistible to an age group that yearns to be seen as competent and confident. When the story takes a magical turn at its midpoint, and Andrew discovers that he can actually solve “the many problems in the world” through his drawings (he does so at the behest of none other than the president), his calm, focused demeanor makes him all the more heroic. Ages 4–8. Agent: Faith Hamlin, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Sept.)