May 2007

When a drawing comes to life

By Deborah Freedman
Review by
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Sisters Emma and Lucie are having a terrible spat. After bragging about her drawing of the beautiful princess Aurora, Emma proclaims that Lucie's drawing of a kitty looks like a scribble. Lucie is so mad that she scribbles all over Emma's drawing.

Here's where the fun begins. While Emma runs off to complain to their parents, Lucie and her pet cat are magically pulled into the world of these drawings. Scribble the cat comes to life. He has heard all the fuss and wondered what a princess was, and he wondered what beautiful was, so he runs straight to the drawing of Aurora, who is sleeping in her princess bed. Author/illustrator Deborah Freedman pulls off the drawing-within-a-drawing concept of this picture book simply but deftly. Lucie has drawn Scribble with bold strokes on a piece of bright yellow paper, while Emma has drawn Aurora on bright pink paper. As these two childlike creations come alive and interact, we see the meeting of pink and yellow worlds. Meanwhile, Emma, Lucie, their cat and their room are drawn in precise detail, a nice contrast to the world of the childish drawings. Scribble decides that his job is to rescue this lovely princess, who has been sleeping for 100 years. Lucie, meanwhile, remains intrigued, but is still furious and insists she will not help with the mission. Eventually, however, Scribble gets trapped in the scribble marks that Lucie made on her sister's drawing. In the end Lucie does the right thing and comes to the rescue, helping to make everything right. By the time Lucie finds her way back out of the world of these drawings, her sister Emma returns, and it seems likely that their squabbles will continue. Scribble and Princess Aurora will live happily ever after, nonetheless, thanks to Lucie.

First-time author Freedman is a Connecticut architect and the mother of two daughters, Emma and Lucie. Her exceedingly clever and entertaining little tale will enchant the very youngest of readers, while also enthralling older readers who are savvy enough to appreciate and ponder its many dimensions.


Alice Cary writes from Groton, Massachusetts.

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By Deborah Freedman
ISBN 9780375839665

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