Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

I Wish I Could Draw

I Wish I Could Draw

Cary Fagan
Nonfiction
For ages 7 and up
Groundwood Books, 2014   ISBN: 978-1554983186

Cary Fagan is an award winning author who has written books for both adults and children. He is also a man who really, really wishes he could draw. He is convinced that he is a dreadful artist and he proceeds to show us why he thinks this by drawing a few pictures. He draws a picture of himself first, which doesn’t really look like him. Then he draws a still life of a bowl, a teapot, some fruit, and some fabric. In his opinion his picture “isn’t like a drawing by a real artist.”

   Cary wonders what will happen if he draws things he likes, so he creates a series of pictures. They seem a little better. What if he uses his artwork to tell a story? After all, Cary loves to tell stories.  Cary proceeds to tell the story of how Cary saved the world from a voracious dragon by singing and playing the mandolin loudly. He really enjoys creating his illustrated story, and begins to wonder if he can now call himself an artist because he now likes to draw. Is it enough to like drawing, or does one have to be really good at it?

  The world is full of people who would love to draw but who don’t do it because they are convinced that their drawings “stink.” What Cary Fagan does in this book is to show his readers, using words and his own “stinky pictures,” what really matters. It really is of no consequence if your pictures aren’t works of art. What really matters is that you like creating them.

   With humor and lots of his own artwork, the author demonstrates how important it is to move past self-criticism, which so often prevents people from doing something that they want to do. Do what you love and don’t worry about the rest. 

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