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by Steven Kroll & illustrated by Barry Gott

Age Range: 3 - 7

Pub Date: April 1st, 2001
ISBN: 1-890817-53-8

In this edifying picture book, Kroll (William Penn: Founder of Pennsylvania, 2000) reveals that there is more than one way to tell a story. Jenny loves to draw. So when her teacher gives a writing assignment, Jenny's first question is, " Could I draw a picture instead?" To Jenny's dismay her teacher clarifies that although pictures are fine, the words must come first. Worse still, when Jenny gets home she finds that her beloved guinea pig, Patches, is missing. She and her mother look everywhere. Jenny makes posters they put up around town. As the days pass with Patches still missing, Jenny finds some comfort in drawing pictures of what she imagines might have happened to Patches. It is a joyous day when their neighbor Mr. Scooter arrives with Patches in hand. Jenny's writer's block vanishes when her mother points to the pictures she has drawn of the disappearance and says, "They tell a wonderful story." Adding words to her drawings, Jenny reads her imaginative tale of guinea-pig-napping to the classroom. Jenny also surprises her teacher with her pictures-first technique. The teacher admits, "You've taught me something." Gott shows Jenny's realistic childlike drawings popping from the page in contrast to the digitally produced, cartoon-like graphics of the scenes and characters. This first-time book illustrator is a talent to watch. (Picture book. 3-7)