Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Fantastic Drawings of Danielle

The Fantastic Drawings of Danielle

Barbara McClintock
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2004   ISBN: 978-0618432301

When Danielle draws, all kinds of wonderful and magical things flow across her paper: flying frogs, birds wearing suits and top hats, trees of blooming roses, and other marvels. Her father who is a photographer cannot understand these fanciful creatures that his daughter creates. He thinks she should either "draw what's real or use the camera." Danielle, who loves her father dearly and who wants to make him proud of her, tries very hard to draw from life but she finds it so boring. Every time she tries to draw something purely from life she ends up creating something else, something full of her imaginative dreams.

Unfortunately Danielle's father is not having much luck selling his photographs these days. Then he falls sick and poor Danielle is beside herself with worry. She cares for her father as best she can and when their money run's out she tries to take more photographs by herself, something she really does not know how to do. It turns out to be a lot harder than it looks and poor Danielle does not know what she is going to do. Then help arrives from a very unexpected quarter and Danielle learns that she is not the only artist who sees her art through the eyes of her own imagination.

This stunningly illustrated picture book will show young readers that there is always more than one way to create a work of art. Danielle's father likes to see things presented as they appear in real life but for Danielle that is just too boring. She has to add her own twist, her own interpretation, and thankfully she learns that her way is perfectly acceptable too, her way is beautiful and creative even if it is different. With a minimal text and the most luscious and wonderfully detailed illustrations, this picture book speaks to everyone who loves to create things that are unique.