Chalk by Bill Thomson

In this wordless book, three children discover a bag hanging from the mouth of the dinosaur toy in the park.  Inside is sidewalk challk, very special sidewalk chalk.  When one child selects yellow and draws a sun on the wet pavement, it turns real, leaving the drawing and heading into the sky, ending the rain.  Another child draws orange butterflies, which also lift from the ground and into the air.  Excitement unfolds when the third child draws a dinosaur which comes to life, chasing them around the playground.  The quick-thinking child draws a cloud with rain coming out of it and saves the day.  Told in rich photo-realistic illustrations, this book is a magical journey into imagination.

A wordless book that is not strictly for preschoolers is a rare find.  One that is told with such energy and style is even more rare.  Thomson has created a book that is inviting, mesmerizing and unique.  Told in such a way that the story flows through the illustrations, needing no narration, this book is superb.  The realistic illustrations add to the modern feel of the book as well as the action and surprise of the magic.  In fact, the juxtaposition of magic with photo-realistic illustrations is what elevates this book to another level.  Beautifully designed and envisioned.

Highly recommended, this book will fly off the shelves by the strength of that cover alone.  It can also be used as the basis for art and writing projects in a classroom setting beautifully.  Appropriate for a wide range of ages, 3-8.

Reviewed from copy received from Marshall Cavendish.

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5 thoughts on “Chalk

  1. This looks adorable, not only because this is like one of my dreams in book form (okay, NIGHTMARES) but because kids and chalk are such a fun combination. I really do like wordless picture books. They leave so much room for the imagination. I also like that they saved themselves with their artwork.


    1. Very true! Kid power to the max in this book. It is great when children solve their own problems rather than adults stepping in to save them.


  2. I took this book to my school visits this year to talk about Summer Reading Program. Kids from Pre-K through 2nd grade loved it. It’s amazing! We also read it to kids at our chalk program before we got started.


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