The Declaration: Gemma Malley
Blood Brothers: S. A. Harazin

Squiggles: Taro Gomi

Book: Squiggles: A Really Giant Drawing and Painting Book
Author: Taro Gomi
Pages: 204
Age Range: 4 to 8

SquigglesSquiggles: A Really Giant Drawing and Painting Book is not the sort of book that I generally review. I'm all about story, and Squiggles is an activity/coloring book. However, Squiggles stands out from the crowd. For one thing, it's much larger than your average coloring book, slightly bigger than a sheet of paper in footprint, and 200 extra-heavy pages thick. The cover shows a series of childlike black-and-white drawings. Inside are 200 pages of picture starters and/or short text prompts to inspire the budding artist. For example:

  • A girl, taking up the lower half of the page only, with the prompt "Let's draw some hats!"
  • A boy's head and limbs, with the clothing and torso left unfinished for the child to fill in.
  • The surface and floor of the ocean, shown in profile, with the prompt: "I'm sure there's some sunken treasure down here. Maybe a sea monster, too."

The partial drawings are all done in medium gray watercolor, with thick lines, and not much detail. Sketches range from broad landscapes to small objects like cups and plates. In all cases, the detail and color are left for the child to fill in. The extra-thick pages are designed to allow paint, as well as crayons and markers. 

Gail Gauthier talked about this book, and compared it to the Anti-Coloring Books, which were all the rage a while back. I agree. The difference is that this book is beautiful in its own right, too. I think for kids who want to draw, but need a little push to get started, this will be just the thing. Together with a box of watercolors or crayons, this would make an excellent holiday gift for any art-loving kid.

Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: October 2007
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
Other Blog Reviews: Original Content (well, more of a mention than a review), MOMformation, whimsy

© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.