Day: May 12, 2017

Niko Draws a Feeling by Bob Raczka

Niko Draws a Feeling by Bob Raczka

Niko Draws a Feeling by Bob Raczka, illustrated by Simone Shin (9781467798433, Amazon)

Niko loves to draw. He carries paper and colored pencils with him all the time because he is always finding new inspiration. But he doesn’t draw like other people. If he draws the ice cream truck, he’s actually trying to capture the sound of its bell. Instead of drawing the sun, he draws the feeling of it on his face. The image he makes of the robin building her nest is of the hard work, not the robin or the nest. No one seems to understand his pictures at all. But then he meets Iris, a new girl, who can understand the feelings he is showing on the page.

In his text, Raczka really shows how the mind of young artist works and the different way in which Niko sees and experiences and depicts his world. There is a feeling of isolation when people can’t see what he is trying to convey in his art. That moment soon passes though when Iris can connect with the art that Niko has created. There is a real heart to this book, shown through Niko himself and his connection to the world.

Shin’s illustrations help readers understand Niko better and the art too. Children will want to discuss what they feel when they see the abstract swirls of Niko’s art. Shin also shows a vibrant and bustling urban community where Niko gets all of his inspiration. Done in mixed media, digital and acrylics, the illustrations have a solidity that supports the looser illustrations that are Niko’s.

A welcome look at artistic process and imagination, this picture book also is about finding kindred spirits. Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from library copy.

 

This Week’s Tweets, Pins and Tumbls

Here are some cool links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week:

To read is to live. sometimes it seems that books know more about us than we do.:

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

5 Middle Grade Graphic Novels to Look Out for in May

10 Wonderful Children’s Poets You Should Know |

14 More LGBTQ Middle Grade Books

Announcing new deals for , , + more

BEST NEW BOOKS FOR MAY 2017 (and at least two are perfect for Father’s Day)

The case for reading out loud to kids long after they can read to themselves:

Dragons Are for White Kids with Money: On the Friction of Geekdom and Race |

is here! Read the editorial & download our beautiful PDF (& get “Summer Nights” stuck in your head)

“Imagine never seeing yourself in much of what you read growing up”  – http://www.slj.com/2017/05/diversity/imagine-yourself-a-young-reader-in-the-margins-ownvoices-three-takes/#_

Why the 1980s ‘Anne of Green Gables’ Is Such a Hard Act to Follow |

LIBRARIES

Chicago Public Library Recognized for Digital Leadership

Crafts vs. No Crafts, The Great Storytime Debate

Downtown Miami library reopens days after shooting

Library as Retreat Space brought art, movement, mindfulness, and more into

Obama unveils ambitious plans for an unusual new presidential library in Chicago

TEEN LIT

There Is A Difference Between Middle Grade and Young Adult Lit, and It Does Matter via