My kids and I have always loved art so I was really excited for this book, not because of it having stunning illustrations, but because of the message behind it. The author, Pops Jamison, wanted to show that you don’t have to be the best artist to be able to make art. When I received these books to review I did it a little bit differently this time. I always let my kids review them but this time I did so without any back story or insight on the book. My daughter is ten(last day I can say that! She turns 11 tomorrow!!) and my son is six. They both enjoyed the books. They were really excited about them being autographed and loved the bookmarks that came with them. My daughter said they were good children’s books and easy to read. She enjoyed that the story came from the author’s real life. My son enjoyed that is was easy for him to read as well and thought the stories were really fun, especially “I Saw the Skwerdlock!” He loved the rhyming. They both agreed that the stories showcased imagination. The part that I thought was interesting was I didn’t say anything before hand about how the author wanted to show children that you don’t have to be the best illustrator to be one and that anyone can make art but when I brought it up afterwards my daughter said “Oh that makes sense now!” Then she went on to explain how she noticed “the drawings weren’t really…..” she was at a loss for words and said how she wasn’t trying to be negative but they were simple and child like. In this moment I felt like it was perfect for her to see this book. She is really talented in art, she has won local awards, but she is becoming more and more critical of her own work and doubting her talent as she grows older. My son is at the age where he is really trying to better his skills but he is much more carefree and full of imagination. This is when I had the idea that I wanted them to draw their own Skwerdlock. Not by looking at the book though, by hearing the words and looking within their imagination. (pictures below) I hid the books for a couple weeks and then read the description of the Skwerdlock to them again. It was fun for me to see them go through the process. My son asked to see the book once and I told him I would show him afterwards. My daughter had a really hard time getting started and I could tell she was getting discouraged because she wanted it to be perfect and prefers to draw by looking at something instead of just drawing or creating what she feels. I had to keep reminding her that is was okay to draw whatever she felt. There is a part that references his nose ringing, so at this point my son changed the nose into a bell. My daughter struggled with making it her own because she wanted it to be just like the one in the book. I feel like this happened at the perfect time. This past weekend I went to an art therapy class and I’m going to start incorporating art more into our lives… less about being the best artist and more about expressing how you feel! If you do this I would love to know how you express yourself through art!
If you get this book I really encourage you to have your child(ren) draw their own skwerdlock too!!!!!
I read the words from the story, “Oh, I wish I had a Skwerdlock, a funny looking dog.” “With ears just like an elephant, and a nose just like a hog.” “He has a mouth just like a crocodile, and a neck like a giraffe.” As they would pause I would re read that part. They asked some questions about details and I gave minimal descriptions. Would love to know what your kids came up with!! Happy drawing!!
“Meet the Skwerdlock!” was created to help spark a love of books, help learn a few words, and just have an excuse to sit in the recliner and enjoy time together. Well Pops, I think you did just that, well done!! It isn’t about the creating the perfect story or the perfect picture. It is the time you spend doing so with those you love and about what you discover along the way.
You can see more information on the author HERE.
You can purchase “Meet the Skwedlock!” and “I saw the Skwerdlock!” (as well as others) at Barns and Nobel as well as Amazon. I linked the direct link for each book through Barns &Nobel and the books are less than $10!!