Primary January 2019 (1)August 1st, 2018 | Posted by in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Primary | Primary (Grades K-2) | January
Raczka, Bob. Niko Draws a Feeling. Illustrated by Simone Shin. Carolrhoda, 2017. 32 pages (978–1–4677–9843–3)
Niko loves to draw. His pictures, inspired by what he observes, are abstract images of the in between—the feeling or action or intent—of a situation. He draws the “ring-a-ling” of the ice cream truck, not the truck or the ice cream; the hard work of a mother bird building her nest, not the bird or nest. Friends and family don’t understand his pictures. Believing that no one will ever understand his art, Niko expresses how he feels in a picture he tapes to his door. When new neighbor Iris learns Niko draws, she asks to see his pictures. Looking carefully at each one, she doesn’t ask what they are. When she gets to the one on his door she says, “It looks like how I feel. You know, sad because I had to move.” Niko knows he’s found someone who understands him: a new friend. A straightforward yet thoughtful narrative touches on abstract art, the complex experience of creative inspiration, and the emotions of being misunderstood. Mixed-media illustrations provide a winning accompaniment, conveying the concrete of Niko’s world, including his mixed-race family, and his abstract art. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center
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