This book tries to be so many things, but they add up to very little.
Sikorski and Sunday create a thin story about feline Little Man who likes to wander about the wetlands. Interspersed are step-by-step instructions for drawing the creatures and objects the cat encounters (or not) during his nocturnal rambles. The format is terribly confusing. The first page shows Little Man returning home at dawn, walking through a pumpkin patch, past a scarecrow with a small bird singing on his shoulder. Brief instructions follow for drawing a Common Yellowthroat (the small bird), the cat standing and sitting, the cat napping and jaunting about, a scarecrow and a crow. But readers have not seen a crow, nor has the cat been shown in these various positions, which will puzzle them. The instructions themselves are odd. Instead of breaking down drawing into easy-to-grasp elements such as shape, line and shading, the authors seem to assume readers will only want to replicate their simple style. If the constant back-and-forth format were not jarring enough, the author/illustrators often add sound effects to the how-to-draw parts. There is even a recipe for escargot—a fave for Little Man but not for many children—provided on the page giving four steps to recreate the cat licking his paws.
Those looking for helpful drawing lessons will be better served by instructional volumes from Ed Emberley or Ralph Masiello. (Informational picture book. 5-8)