Sunday, October 28, 2018

Review - Niko Draws a Feeling

Niko Draws a Feeling
by Bob Raczka
illustrated by Simone Shin
Date: 2017
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

Niko loves to draw his world: the ring-a-ling of the ice cream truck, the warmth of sun on his face. But no one appreciates his art. Until one day, Niko meets Iris . . .

This imaginative and tender story explores the creative process, abstract art, friendship, and the universal desire to feel understood.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I don't know if I've ever read a children's book singing the praises of abstract art. It was kind of neat, though, showing kids that art doesn't have to just be representations of things we see; it can also be about things we perceive with our other senses... or even about our feelings. Nobody in Niko's life seems to understand this, which leads to him feeling rather lonely and sad (which, of course, inspires more artwork). It isn't until a little girl moves in nearby that he finds someone who actually gets it.

While I wasn't wowed by the illustrations, they told the story well enough. I guess they fit the overall tone of the book and what it was trying to convey.

This is one instance of a children's book that tackles an ambitious topic and actually makes it work. For that reason alone, I'd recommend it.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.33 out of 5

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