Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Reader's Diary #431- Hanoch Piven: My Dog Is As Smelly As Odd Socks

What a fantastic picture book! It begins with a child's fine, but somewhat generic, picture she'd drawn of her family. Her teacher remarks, "How great is that!" and the girl says, "But I didn't like it."

A book about self-esteem perhaps? Not at all. It's all about art and creativity. The girl knows she can do better and boy, does she ever!

Beginning with her dad, she remarks that her original scraggly-haired rendering doesn't reflect his personality at all. After all, she says, he's "as jumpy as a SPRING, and as playful as a SPINNING TOP..." and so forth. Then, when you turn the page, she's incorporated these objects into a new, more artistic and representative portrait of her dad. Then she goes down the list revising the other family members (including the onion-eyed stinky dog you see on the cover.)

We all enjoyed this book immensely. The pictures were funny, the similes were witty and often unpredictable, and we're all itching to now try our own.

(To see more of Piven's portraits, including ones he did for Rolling Stone magazine, Time, and Entertainment Weekly, visit his website. Some of my favourites include Homer Simpson, Bruce Springsteen, and Thom Yorke. What are yours?)


gautami tripathy said...

Like the cover.

This seems like cute book. Well worth checking out!

Wanda said...

Just checked and yea, my library has this book. :)

Love the incorporation of the rat in Bob Geldof's portrait.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great book - not that I need to add any more books to *cough* Moira's library. :)

John Mutford said...

Gautami: The cover's okay, but the ones inside are better, IMO.

Wanda: The rat was a nice touch, especially with the tail forming the bags under his eyes.

Melanie: This is a library pick for us, but I wouldn't mind a copy for m... the kids' bookshelf, too.

Anonymous said...

It does sound cute :)

I just finished #13 in the 2nd Canadian Book Challenge:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You knew I would check out his site if you mentioned Thom Yorke, didn't you? Well it worked.

I want him to draw my family.