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DOODLER DOODLING by Rita Golden Gelman Kirkus Star


by Rita Golden Gelman & illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

Age Range: 5 & up

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-688-16645-8
Publisher: Greenwillow

A bored little girl doodles some “teachers teaching”—then flying fliers, fliers teaching, teachers flying, teachers teaching flying fliers, and (with great glee) fliers flying teachers (a goggled and helmeted pilot steers a very alarmed, very matronly teacher). Painters, climbers, throwers, huggers, bakers, and mowers join the teachers and the flyers, the ballpoint doodles flying, climbing, and mowing by turns their way off the lined paper the little girl (depicted in loose watercolors) uses as her canvas. The combinations increase in verve and zaniness until a double-page foldout (“Painters hugging bakers climbing throwers painting huggers mowing fliers throwing climbers flying mowers baking teachers teaching”) hopelessly and happily entangles doers and done-tos, and the little girl proudly holds up her finished doodle: “WOW!” Zelinsky—is there no limit to his inventiveness?—milks the 21-word text for all it’s worth, investing his line doodles with enormous energy and humor, literally depicting the actions described: an earnest baker prepares a cookie sheet full of people pushing lawnmowers, for instance. A happy paean to the possibilities of the confluence of boredom and imagination. (Picture book. 5+)