Monday, January 24, 2011

Review #84: Chalk

Dad:  Today we bring you "Chalk" by Bill Thomson.
Gracie (age 10):  The book is called "Chalk" because it is about chalk.
Lily (age 7):  Magic chalk.
Gracie:  It's about these three kids -- two girls and one naughty boy.
Elijah (age 5):  No, he's a good boy.
Gracie:  The three kids go to the park on a rainy day.  Their names should be... Ninka, Dinka, and Stinka.  Stinka is the naughty boy.
Elijah:  No!  Good boy!  Good boy!
Isaac (age 12):  At the park they see this dinosaur toy...
Lily:  It is a bouncy one.  A bouncy ride-on dinosaur.
Gracie:  Oh yeah, I love bouncies!  Those toys are the coolest things ever.  Even though we are way too old for them.
Lily:  On the bouncy dinosaur they find a chalk bag.
Isaac:  They think "Ooo - some chalk.  Let's draw some pictures."  The first girl draws a sun, and it turned real in the sky.  And they thought "Awesome!"
Gracie:  The drawing pops up and goes up into the sky and makes a sunny day.
Dad:  So what does that mean?  Are there two suns in the world now?  I suppose it's not supposed to be logical... just fun.
Gracie:  Dad!!!  We are talking about magic chalk!  And you are looking for logical things?
Dad:  Ha ha ha...
Isaac:  Then the second girl picks up some chalk and draws a million butterflies.
Gracie:  Hundreds and millions of butterflies.
Lily:  And the butterflies go up into the sky.  Then the boy - he is sneaky and bad - he is a naughty, naughty boy - he draws a dinosaur.
Gracie:  It comes to life.  And the kids all run away screaming.
Dad:  Do you think the boy knew it would turn dangerous?  Maybe he was just excited to see a dinosaur and didn't think about the repercussions.
Gracie:  But look at his face!
Isaac:  Yeah, he knew what was going to happen... he is a stinker.
Elijah:  No, he's good!  He's good because he saves everyone by drawing water!
Lily:  The boy has an idea.  He is hiding in the tube slide, and he draws a rain cloud.
Gracie:  It's the one smart thing he's ever done.
Lily:  And then it starts raining.  And when you see this part, it's sort of gross... the dinosaur starts melting.
Dad:  Because he's chalk.
Lily:  It's gross.  It reminds me of Wizard of Oz.  Bad guys always get melted because they are terrible and bad.
Gracie:  Bad guys end up as little green pools when they get hit with water.
Dad:  Green guys and water don't mix.  So here's the obvious first question for you: What would you guys draw if you had magic chalk?
Lily:  Puppies!  And dog food.
Elijah:  I would draw a baby.  Then we could have two newborn babies!
Dad:  Wow - you like babies so much that you already want another one?
Elijah:  Yes!  And this one would be a boy.
Isaac:  I would draw a roomful of magic chalk.  I would draw a giant underground room with more magic chalk in it.
Gracie:  I would draw a million dollars!
Dad:  So you would be a counterfeiter, Gracie?
Isaac: (singing)  Gracie's breaking the la-aw, Gracie's breaking the la-aw.
Gracie:  What's a counterfeiter?
Dad:  Someone that makes his own money.
Isaac:  And it's illegal.
Gracie:  Okay then.  I would draw seventy-seven thousand pandas.  Because right now there are not many pandas left in the world.
Dad:  Ah, reversing extinction is a much nobler pursuit than counterfeiting.
Mom: (chiming in)  I would draw a buffet table.  Chinese buffet.  With crab rangoon and cream cheese wontons.
Gracie:  I would draw a chocolate fondue fountain!
Isaac:  NO.  I would draw a giant pig.
Gracie:  What?
Isaac:  It would be the world's biggest pig.
Gracie:  What would you do with the world's biggest pig?
Isaac:  Give it to poor people.  And they can all eat pig and they'd never run out of food.
Dad:  How would you describe the pictures in this book?
Gracie:  Realistic!
Isaac:  They look like photographs.
Gracie:  They almost look like reality.
Dad:  The word for that is "Photorealism."  That's when a painting is so real it looks like a photograph.
Lily:  It helps it make the dinosaur look more scary.  Really really scary.
Isaac:  What are the pictures made with?  It doesn't even look like he used an art utensil.
Dad:  Acrylic paint and colored pencils.  Just like materials we have.
Isaac:  How long do you think it took for him to make this book?
Gracie:  I bet each page took three weeks.
Isaac:  I'd bet a page a month.
Dad:  What else is unique about this book?
Gracie:  There aren't any words, so you get to make up the words.  And that means you get more involved in the story.
Isaac:  He's got to make a sequel.
Lily:  Make a series please.  Then we'll know what's happening with the chalk.  Like if someone else comes over to use the chalk.
Dad:  Right -- at the end of the book the kids leave the chalk behind.
Lily:  That makes me wonder if someone else finds it.
Isaac:  Every kid who reads this book is going to go looking for that chalk.

holding a butterfly, by Lily

dinosaur, by Elijah

chalk dinosaur, by Isaac

dinosaur coming to life, by Gracie

Author/Illustrator: Bill Thomson
Published, 2010: Marshall Cavendish
Like it?  Here it is


Jennifer Morian Frye said...

Gracie, I think magic chalk is worth more than a million could draw jewels, or whatever you would buy with the money.

I like the idea of drawing something to feed people that have no food, or endangered animals....and the Chinese buffet, and chocolate fountain are great ideas! Maybe I'm hungry...

hollybookscoops said...

I love chalk art! I will definitely have to check this book out it sounds like a lot of fun. We love the Harold and the Purple Crayon book, which sounds a little similar at our house. Congrats on your new little one! I'm with you Elijah- newborn babies are great and it would be so nice if they could get here as easily as drawing them!

Will Strong said...

I hope I'm the next one to find the bag of magic chalk.

Great review.

Beth said...

This looks great! We have it on hold next for our tour of the Cybils nominees. Thanks for the preview.

Julie P. said...

It does look adorable. Thanks for sharing.

Zoe said...

Gracie - your dinosaur coming to life is really wonderful! Very inspiring.

I'm itching to get some chalk right now and start drawing. I think I'd draw a delicious breakfast (I love the idea of a chinese buffet, but that will have to wait till later in the day). Something with great coffee and lots of pastries!

Veronica said...

HA! They adorable. And, exhausting. Heh.