Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Doodlebug: A Novel in Doodles

Doodlebug: A Novel in Doodles

Karen Romano Young
For ages 9 to 12
Feiwel & Friends, 2010   ISBN: 978-0312561567

Doreen “Dodo” Bussey and her family are moving from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and as far as Dodo is concerned, this is NOT a good thing. Not only is she going to have to go to a new school and make new friends, but she also suspects that the reason for the move might, at least in part, have something to do with her. Dodo got suspended from her last school for giving away (actually it was more like selling) her ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) pills. She did not like the way the pills made her feel and saw no real harm in giving them to the other kids in school. Needless to say, the teachers and principal did not agree with her.

During the drive to San Francisco, Dodo takes up doodling, and she discovers that creating little pictures with a plain black pen actually calms her. It helps her think, and when she gets to school, she finds out that it also helps her to sit still in class. Sitting still has always been a challenge for Dodo. Dodo, who is now calling herself Doodlebug, is horrified when several of her teachers tellher that she cannot doodle during class. Doodling is against the rules. How is Dodo (Doodlebug) going to cope in school if she can’t doodle? Why do schools have to have such unfair rules?

This thoroughly delightful and very unusual book looks into the life of a child who is trying to find her own way of dealing with her Attention Deficit Disorder. Through Dodo’s words (and doodles) the author explores the idea that some rules need to be bent just a little, under certain circumstances. Sometimes what is considered tried and true simply doesn’t work for some people, and we have to be creative and find a new way to do things.

We can only hope that this amusing and touching title will soon have a sequel so that we can once again share in Dodo Doodlebug’s world.