cover image Drawing Outdoors

Drawing Outdoors

Jairo Buitrago and Rafael Yockteng, trans. from the Spanish by Elisa Amado. Greystone Kids, $18.95 (36p) ISBN 978-1-77164-847-9

Dinosaurs inspire a day of creativity for the student body of a remote mountain school in this charming translation. Though “our school has almost nothing. A blackboard, some chairs,” it does have “a teacher. She’s always there.” And today, she leads the class, which includes students of various skin tones, on an excursion: “We are explorers, we have paper, we have crayons.” In a wonderful moment of unexplained surprise, a purple brontosaurus peeking out between some riverfront trees becomes the students’ first subject, and other classics soon become artistic fodder. Presented as a first-person account, the narrative draws its minimal momentum largely from plainspoken dialogue. While it’s not difficult to spot the dinos, their positioning and depiction is handled with enough subtlety to provide the feel of adventurous page-turning discovery. Ages 5–9. (May)