________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 36. . . .May 20, 2016



Ruth Ohi.
Toronto, ON: North Winds Press/Scholastic Canada, 2016.
32 pp., hardcover, $16.99.
ISBN 978-1-4431-4665-4.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 3-7.

Review by Linda Ludke.

***½ /4



So Scribble swooped.
And Circle found out that when scribbles waved...
...circles shone bright.

When scribbles scurried,
Circles could bounce up...
...and down.

When Circle feared
She would float away,
Scribble held on tight.


Scribble, by award-winning author and illustrator Ruth Ohi, stars three geometric shapes with tons of personality. Happy-go-lucky pink Circle has a penchant for rolling around and around. Solid, blue Square is partial to sitting still. Yellow Triangle has swagger and many points – “all of them good ones”. With a chaotic flourish, a purple crayoned scribble unexpectedly “Za-Zoom[s]!” across the page. The shapes tremble and shriek in horror at every startling “Whoosh!” and “Swish!” When this loose cannon invites the whole gang to play together, the initial reception is somewhat icy: “‘With you?’ said Square. ‘Together?’ said Triangle. ‘But why?’ said Circle.” It doesn’t take long before the formerly stolid figures are going with the flow. With a squiggly line, Circle becomes a high-flying balloon. Add a rolling wave, and Triangle turns into a boat sailing on the ocean.

      Ruth Ohi’s watercolour, pencil crayon and pastel illustrations are full of spontaneity and energy. With simply drawn perfection, the facial expressions on the shapes capture a range of emotions, from raised eyebrow excitement, to gawping, open-mouthed disbelief.

      With the help of Scribble, the shapes rearrange themselves into flowers, birds, and snails. Readers will be inspired to look at squiggles in a new way and will eagerly turn their own scribbles into something new and surprising. The final image of Circle, Square, Triangle and Scribble transformed into a rocket ship, blasting into the unknown, nicely sums up the book: fuelled by creativity, the sky is the limit.

Highly Recommended.

Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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