The little girl in this book is not satisfied with her drawings. The family portraits she
has drawn resemble stick people with dots for eyes and bigger dots for noses. Although her teacher declares, ďHow great is that!Ē the little girl decides to start again. This time her drawings will reflect a truer understanding of each family member.
Momís black dotted eyes become jam cookies and a buttery croissant replaces her penciled-in mouth. Undergoing a similar transformation, Dadís squiggly
graphite eyebrows become metal springs, and his tiny circled nose becomes a wooden spinning top. Marbles and baseball bats replace hand-drawn eyebrows and eyes on her big brotherís portrait, and baby brotherís loudness is depicted with a whistle, a horn, and an alarm clock. When redoing her old drawings, the little girl keeps in mind each family memberís unique qualities and personality traits as she replaces sections of these old drawings with common household items. Even the portrait of Schmutz, the family dog, is transformed:
pepperoni and canned fish are used for his new body parts. When it comes to creating a portrait of herself, the usual four to five items wonít suffice. This little girlís final portrait
features fourteen items, including beach glass and a calculator.
Children no longer have to be frustrated with their drawing abilities. Hanoch Piven will soon have readers imagining their own family in 3-D objects. Wallpapering the endpapers of this book are more incredible examples of one-of-a-kind portraits. One face is made from a bucket, and one from an old CD. Opened zippers are turned into pigtails and mouth, and nose materials range from a lollipop to a shovel. These pictures were made in 2006 at the Schneider Childrenís Medical Center of Israel by children and teens who were sick with cancer.
Hanoch Piven is the author of What Presidents Are Made Of,
What Athletes Are Made Of, and The Scary Show of Mo and Jo. Look for the authorís homemade
self-portrait on the jacket of My Dog is as Smelly as Dirty Socks. I quite like his choice of nose! The illustrations in this book were made using gouache on watercolor and glued-on objects.
By the end of the book, the little girlís new batch of
family portraits brings a better understanding to the
expression ďa picture says a thousand words.Ē My Dog is as Smelly as Dirty Socks is as good as an A+ on an assignment! This book is a celebration of childrenís artwork and creativity.