Art, Books, Current Events, Reviews

Scribbling Our Way to Creativity

March 27th is International Scribble Day. Founded by Diane Alber, this obscure but cute holiday got its start in 2019. This day is all about celebrating scribbles to show that art can come in any form and anyone can be encouraged to be an artist. It also encourages kindness, acceptance, and creativity. Keeping this day in mind, here are a few books that can help us scribbling our way to creativity!

This set of books includes the one that started it all, or rather inspired the day for scribbling, Diane Adler’s ‘I’m Not Just a Scribble,’ and many more for young ones and older readers as well to enjoy and be inspired.

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Scribbling Our Way to Creativity

Benford Draws a Blank

Benford Draws a Blank by Danielle Dufayet and illustrated by Katia Klein (4 – 8 years, and up)

Benford loves art, and his very first canvas is ready and waiting! But he can’t think of a single thing to paint. Not one! Nothing! His mind is completely BLANK! How will Benford break free from his painter’s block?

Benford “draws a blank” in his quest for the perfect idea. This books shows us, through imaginative art and narrative, that when this happens, it is OK. Regardless of what we were trying to do (write, draw, create something else, or..), we can still have fun, and find a way to fill that blank space.

It also shows that things don’t need to be perfect and it is ok to make mistakes. We just need to find ways to free our imaginations, and we will find that idea that is just right for us, even if it is not that perfect idea we were looking for! Backmatter includes a list of fun ideas to “block those blanks!”

I’m Not Just a Scribble

I’m NOT just a Scribble… by Diane Alber (Children’s Art Books | 3 – 6 years, and up)

Scribble, the book’s main character, never thought he was different until he met his first drawing. Then, after being left out because he didn’t look like everyone else. Scribble teaches the other drawings how to accept each other for who they are. Which enables them to create amazing art together!

Rhymes that make you want to read them out loud, and lend a touch of mood too as Scribble goes along his way trying to make friends. A book full of lessons while imparting them in a fun way; lessons about second chances and being kind, as well as self-reliance and self-acceptance too. Plus, you will find yourself scribbling away and creating art that is sure to leave you smiling.

For more Scribble love, read Alber’s Invisible Scribble, and if you need Unicorn magic, check out her Never Let a Unicorn Scribble!!

Line and Scribble

Line and Scribble written by Debora Vogrig with art by Pia Valentinis (Children’s Opposites Books | 3 – 5 years, and up)

Line and Scribble do things differently. Line goes straight while Scribble wanders. Line walks a tightrope as Scribble bursts into fireworks. Line likes to draw with a ruler, and Scribble, well . . . doesn’t.

I am still wondering – do I love Line more, or maybe I prefer Scribble? While I ponder that, let me tell about how cute this book is! Using these two adorable characters to illustrate that friends can be different, and be who they are while being able to enjoy their friendship too; and that these differences make for a more beautiful world! One cool thing I found about this book: just two colors take us along this fun friendship of opposites.

The Most Magnificent Idea

The Most Magnificent Idea by Ashley Spires

This is the story of a girl who, with her dog at her side, loves to make things. Her brain is an “idea machine,” always so full of ideas, she can hardly keep up! But then, one day … it isn’t. What if she never has another idea again?

I absolutely loved Spires The Most Magnificent Thing from a few years ago, and so when I saw this sequel to it (no need to have read book one, but it is wonderful), I simply had to check it out for myself. And it is absolutely magnificent, just like its title! This book teaches that we can find inspiration all around us; we just need to look; and that it is okay to be in a slump, we will eventually get out of it, we just need be patient and persistent! Both art and words are most magnificent indeed.

Nola’s Scribbles Saved the Day

Nola’s Scribbles Save the Day by Cristina Lalli (Children’s Art Fiction | 4 – 8 years, and up)

Nola loves her scribbles. They go with her wherever she goes. But when Nola falls deep into a creative slump, she discovers she’s not alone. Can she save the day? How?

Nora is so very relatable, and the illustrations in this book are so very sweet! I loved the emotive and vibrant art with so many delightful little details that make this book a must-read. Readers will be rooting for Nora throughout as she goes from creating to a creative slump, and then using her creativity to help herself all over again (as well as so many others in the process).

Start With a Scribble

Start with a Scribble: Drawing for the Artistically Undiscovered by Sir Quentin Blake and John Cassidy (Art Books | 8 years and up)

This utterly encouraging book is a masterclass in how to draw for kids and grownups with Sir Quentin Blake. His sage advice appears throughout, from “it’s best to name your animal after you draw it” to “don’t worry too much yet about ankles.” The most important lesson? YOU are the only person qualified to express your unique you-ness.

I have always loved Quentin Blake’s art and I of course first chanced upon it in Roald Dahl’s books. So very recognizable and quirky, his illustrations never fail to make one smile. And through this book, we can all learn to embrace that cool quirkiness through squiggles and scribbles, with instructions from Sir Quentin Blake himself!

I am working through it (well, just started with the actual drawing part of it after going through the book), and hope to share a drawing or two soon here! Until then, all I can say is – get it for yourself or anyone else looking to draw, or a Blake fan!

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, have you read any of these books? Your favorite one, if you have? And if not, which one appeals to you the most? As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on this post and recommendations for similar books.

For It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? at Teach Mentor Texts.

13 thoughts on “Scribbling Our Way to Creativity

  1. These books are so cute. I used to love to scribble, but I don’t much anymore because I don’t write or take notes anymore. I’m looking forward to seeing your “scribbles”

  2. This is amazing! My daughter has been really into drawing lately, and I love the idea of International Scribble Day! I always try to encourage her to draw any way she likes, and even a little scribble or a simple line on a page is considered art, and it’s beautiful.

  3. I haven’t read any of the books you mentioned here. But, I love to read the book- The Most Magnificent Idea! My daughter would love that too.

  4. These are some cute books and I’m sure my kids wouldn’t mind reading any of them. I do think my oldest granddaughter would love the Benford Draws a Blank, she’s always saying she loves to draw but don’t have a clue what to draw.

  5. It’s incredible how from chaotic beginnings, beauty can emerge through the process of refinement. Starting with mere scribbles or jumbled thoughts can lead to something refined and truly captivating.

  6. This delightful collection celebrates creativity in its myriad forms, from overcoming blocks to embracing differences. Each book offers valuable lessons wrapped in engaging narratives and vibrant illustrations. It’s a wonderful invitation to explore the joy of scribbling and the magic of imagination. Well-curated and inspiring!

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