Die-cut animal shapes invite young artists to fill in traced outlines and create stories around them in this Indian import.
As a drawing game, at least, this is definitely on the minimalist side. Hamir, a Gujarati artist associated with the Indigenous Pithora style, contributes a few large, generic animal shapes—a monkey, a bird, two identical whales, a camel, and a cat—cut into sheets that are interleaved among the pages. These can be flipped right and left so that facing titular “twins” can be traced onto pages that are otherwise largely blank except for scattered dots, a few small geometric shapes, lightly traced figures, and, in one spread, a set of empty dialogue balloons, all added by Shah. Wolf supplies five instructional story prompts in small type that progress from a simple “What happens next?” to more developed, and promising, scenarios (“Oops! He’s eaten his twin’s meal! Draw what happens next”). The book concludes with a general invitation to conjure a story from scratch on a totally blank final page. Young yarn-spinners may enjoy the exercises, but they aren’t going to come away with any sense of Pithora motifs or the traditional stories they are typically created to tell.
Not much beyond a gimmick, and one that’s suitable only for home libraries. (Coloring book. 4-6)