Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

PhotoPlay! Doodle. Design. Draw.

PhotoPlay! Doodle. Design. Draw.

M.J. Bronstein
Nonfiction Drawing Book
For ages 7 and up
Chronicle Books, 2014   ISBN: 978-1452123417

Ever since she was a child, Marcie has loved to take photographs. When she is looking through the lens of a camera she feels as if she is “an explorer on a treasure hunt.” In addition to loving to take photographs, Marcie also likes to draw, and many years ago she combined drawings with photographs, which is why she was inspired her to create this book.

   Marcie begins by telling us how we might use her book, and it turns out that the sky is the limit. There are no rules. We can draw on top of the photos, design something “goofy or impossible,” color outside of the lines, and laugh at her photos and at the drawings we create. All we have to do is to “step, jump, run, or dive right in!” with our drawing tools and our “wide-open imagination.”

   The first two pages of the book show photos of two children, Grace and Ian, who are jumping into the unknown. They are surrounded by empty white pages that seem to be begging us to draw in a scene. What are the children jumping into or onto? Perhaps there is a pond in front of them. Perhaps they are leaping into space and we can dress them in space costumes. We get to be the ones who decide what the scene on the page is going to look like.

   Further on we see a photo of Eliza, a dog, who is looking underwater. What does she see? Does she see just the bottom of the stream she is standing in, or is there something down there that is fabulous and magical? Perhaps she has even found a portal into another world. The blank page is there for us to show what Eliza sees.

   This book would make a wonderful gift for anyone between the ages of 7 and 97 who like to draw and use their imagination.