Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Doodle 123: A really Giant Doodling and Drawing book

Doodle 123: A really Giant Doodling and Drawing book

Taro Gomi
Novelty coloring book
For ages 4 to 7
Chronicle Books, 2008   ISBN: 978-0811860192

Sometimes when a person is presented with a clean piece of paper or the first page of a brand new, pristine sketch book, they don’t know what to draw. Suddenly they have no ideas. Let’s face it, sometimes a blank sheet of paper is intimidating. The funny thing is that all a person needs is a little nudge, a touch of inspiration and then he or she is off and drawing and coloring

   In this simple and yet incredibly inspiring doodling and drawing book, readers will find prompts on every spread, and with the prompts there are simple line drawings that will help the artist get started. Taro Gomi has made several doodle books similar to this one, but this time he incorporates a little number practicing into the doodling pages. We will find ourselves writing numbers, counting things, doing a little basic math, reading the time, and more.

   On the first spread the prompt says “Lets draw 1 piece of cake,” and there is a picture of a plate, a fork and a mug sitting on one of the pages with empty white space all around. All we have to do is to figure out what kind of cake to put on the plate. There is plenty of room around the plate, a whole page worth in fact, where we can put the rest of the cake if we want to. Or perhaps this is a piece of a birthday cake and the picture needs a drawing of a present.

   Next there is a picture of a small doghouse and we are invited to draw “2 puppies.” Once we have drawn the puppies we can add a yard, a mother dog, a cat, a child or anything else that we feel like.

   The further into the book the go, the more interesting the prompts become. A little more than half way through we encounter a spread covered with doodled grass and we are asked to “draw 5 different bugs. 5 of each kind please.” An artist could have a lot of fun with this one. Later still we get to cut a loaf into five slices, we get to count the body parts of several monsters, we get to draw a face with numbers, and we even get to correct a test for a teacher!

   What is great about this book is that it encourages creativity, and it also provides children with a means to learn numbers and to practice basic math skills. Who knew that learning could be so much fun.

   This would be a great gift to give a child who is going on a trip or who is going to be on vacation. There is just so much to do.