Friday, October 22, 2010

Chalk by Bill Thomson

I know. I know. What with it being Blog Hop Friday, and Battle of the Books Friday, this makes the third post for today.  I can’t help it. I am just so excited about this book that I couldn’t wait until tomorrow to post about it.  It received a starred review from School Library Journal!

From the inside front flap: “A rainy day. Three kids in a park. A dinosaur spring rider. A bag of chalk. The kids begin to draw. . . and then . . . magic!”

Chalk is a spectacularly illustrated wordless picture book about three children who find a magical bag of side walk chalk.  Though it’s a rainy day, magic happens when the children begin to draw with the chalk. A drawing of the sun makes the rain go away, butterflies spring to life, and so does a giant dinosaur. Never fear, a drawing of a rain cloud brings back the rain and the dinosaur dissolves.  I’m not sure which is more magical, the fun the children are having creating their pictures or Thomson’s amazingly beautiful and realistic illustrations.  The illustrations have a photographic or computer generated quality, but are actually composed of acrylics and colored pencils.  Another magical aspect of this book is its lack of words allowing the reader to write their own words.  Anyone who has bought into the idea that picture books are on the downturn or are not  vital in helping children develop good reading skills will surely change their mind when they see this beautiful book.  Children will not only enjoy looking at the pictures but will enjoy being able to decode, predict and tell the story for themselves.  I sincerely hope the Caldecott Committee is paying close attention to this book.  And I’m very glad I do not have to choose between Chalk and Wiesner’s Art and Max. I’m adding them both to my collection.

Recommended for preschool and up. (SLJ actually recommended it for preschool to 4th grade, but I believe that some picture books are meant for all readers, no matter how old they are.)

Mrs. Archer’s rating:  5 of 5 and then some!!

1 comment:

  1. I'll have to look at that one also. Your description of reminds me of Harold and his purple crayon, but the illustratons sound much better.