Reviews for Chalk


Booklist Reviews 2010 March #2
With eye-catching, realistic illustrations, clever details, and some dramatic suspense, this wordless picture book offers a fresh take on the drawings-come-to-life theme. One rainy day, three raincoat-clad children head to the playground and find a bag of chalk. When one girl draws a sun, something amazing happens: clouds break and a sunny blue sky appears. The second kid draws butterflies, which also appear. But when a boy draws a dinosaur, things get almost too exciting. Luckily, a solution is close at hand. Vibrant acrylic and colored-pencil illustrations, rendered with intricate precision, nearly leap off the page, as the expressive, diverse trio experiences magical, exhilarating moments that highlight how familiar materials and settings can inspire rewarding adventures. Varying perspectives, from vistas to close-ups, enhance the drama. A few scenarios, such as those featuring a giant, looming, spiky-toothed T. rex, may be too intense for the youngest children, but many kids will enjoy this testament to the power of creativity and imagination.

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Booklist Reviews 2010 April #1
With eye-catching, realistic illustrations, clever details, and some dramatic suspense, this wordless picture book offers a fresh take on the drawings-come-to-life theme. One rainy day, three raincoat-clad children head to the playground and find a bag of chalk. When one girl draws a sun, something amazing happens: clouds break and a sunny blue sky appears. The second kid draws butterflies, which also appear. But when a boy draws a dinosaur, things get almost too exciting. Luckily, a solution is close at hand. Vibrant acrylic and colored-pencil illustrations, rendered with intricate precision, nearly leap off the page, as the expressive, diverse trio experiences magical, exhilarating moments that highlight how familiar materials and settings can inspire rewarding adventures. Varying perspectives, from vistas to close-ups, enhance the drama. A few scenarios, such as those featuring a giant, looming, spiky-toothed T. rex, may be too intense for the youngest children, but many kids will enjoy this testament to the power of creativity and imagination. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Fall
One rainy day, three kids find a bag of colored chalk at a park and discover that whatever they draw (e.g., a yellow sun) becomes real (the rain suddenly stops). Like Raymond Briggs's The Snowman, this wordless book will have readers happily suspending disbelief. The photorealistic art, which offers close-ups as well as skewed aerial perspectives, is dazzling. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 January #4

In this wordless drama, a clever twist on the theme of "be careful what you wish for," sidewalk chalk provides three children with miraculous fun until one artist goes overboard. Thomson's (Building with Dad) photo-real acrylic and colored pencil spreads close in on three kids in raincoats who discover a bag full of chalk hanging from the mouth of a playground dinosaur. As raindrops splash, one girl draws a sun on the pavement. When a sun promptly bursts forth and drives the clouds away, the second girl draws chalk butterflies, whereupon monarchs emerge from the pavement. But the boy's hand-drawn dinosaur is a little too real, and the frightening creature pursues them across the playground. Although the kids' expressions of glee, shock, and terror sometimes feel over the top, Thomson's brilliant sun and shadow effects, cinematic shots, and novel angles (one from the POV of the marauding dino) create lots of visual excitement. The story is simple enough so that readers can provide their own narrative, though it might leave some more cautious about picking up strange objects. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)

[Page 117]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 April

PreS-Gr 4--This stunningly illustrated wordless picture book tells the story of three children who find a bag of magical chalk at the playground on a rainy day. Their drawings come to life, which seems great when a drawing of the sun stops the rain, but is scary when a dinosaur stalks them. A drawing of a rain cloud inside a play tube brings the rain back and dissolves the frightening creature. This imaginative story is the perfect showcase for Thomson's extraordinary pictures. Though they look like photos or computer-generated images, each one is actually composed using traditional techniques with acrylics and colored pencils. The artist's clever use of light, perspective, and expression, along with the protagonists' neat solution to their dilemma, creates a completely satisfying experience. Thomson is a master at visual storytelling.--Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD

[Page 141]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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