Niko Draws a Feeling by Bob Raczka & Simone Shin

The author dedication on the front of this book is

To those who colour outside the lines

…and these seven words perfectly describe this story.

This is the book to read to start a discussion on art with little ones, especially to introduce the concept of abstract art. The language in the book is beautiful and captivating.

Niko is an observant child, he sees many things that inspire him to draw. When the ice cream truck drives by, Niko captures its ring-a-ling but his friends don’t understand because they can’t see a bell. Niko explains it’s not a bell but the ‘ring-a-ling.’ He draws more pictures. His parents and teacher are all confused by them. Niko meets a girl called Iris who sees the emotions in his art and they become friends.

The author has cleverly selected the names of the characters Niko, the pen that draws and Iris for the eye that sees and understands.

Some books initiate long conversations and questions from the little reader in your life, a beautiful consequence of books. As I read this book to Mr 6 I could read his eyes too and saw his little mind ticking away in deep thought. He is a little self-conscious of his artwork and doesn’t think it is good enough. This sweet story has unlocked in him a confidence to keep on drawing.

This is the amazing power of books, especially picture books. The pictures and words work on both sides of the brain to create an instant rewiring of the brain.

Keep on reading picture books! When we come back from the library with an armful of picture books (and chapter books!) for Mr 6, I get my teenagers to read them too, the benefits are endless for every age.

Suggested age: Read aloud to 3+. Read by self 6+. Recommended for an intermediate reader

Published by Carolrhoda Books (April 1, 2017)

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