Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Danny's Drawing Book

Danny's Drawing Book

Sue Heap
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Candlewick, 2008   ISBN: 978-0763636548

It is a snowy day, and Danny and his friend Ettie are at the zoo. The children see a mother elephant with her baby, and there is a red scarf hanging on a tree nearby. Inspired by what he sees, Danny opens up his yellow drawing book and he draws a picture of a baby elephant wearing a red scarf. Feeling chilly, the children go into the warm nocturnal house where they see an aardvark. Danny puts a drawing of an aardvark next to the one that he created of the elephant. Ettie thinks that the two animals like each other, and sure enough, as Danny’s picture story unfolds, the elephant and the aardvark become good friends.

In Danny’s picture story, the aardvark and the elephant decide that they want to go to Africa, but they cannot figure out how to get there. The aardvark does not want to go by boat, by car, or by train. Wanting to help the two animals, Danny draws himself and Ettie into the story and he draws a picture of the four of them flying to Africa in a wonderful little plane. When they arrive, the two animals and the two children have a wonderful time together. Who knew that being in a story could be so much fun.

In this picture book, Sue Heap gives us a story within a story, taking us on a journey that is unique and memorable. With Danny’s childlike paintings and illustrations on every page, children will feel as if they are actually looking at Danny’s drawing book and they might – it is to be hoped – be inspired to take their own drawing book adventure. After all, all you need is a drawing book, a pencil, and maybe some colors to take a trip into the unknown.