A Book In A Book

Written and Drawn by Henrietta by Liniers. TOON Books, 2015. 9781935179900.

Little Henrietta writes and draws a story with her new colored pencils, complete with commentary by her cat, Fellini. The story itself is told in comics format with Henrietta’s childlike art interspersed. Toon Books have emphasized learning the storytelling grammar of comics (there are tips for parents on reading comics with kids at the end of each book) while kids learn reading skills, so this story is a perfect addition as it shows a kid learning to write her own story. Henrietta gets excited and scared and triumphant along with Emily, the hero of the story she’s creating, who looks a lot like Henrietta. (In a delightful panel, she tells Fellini, “I’m drawing really fast ’cause I want to see what happens next.”) She incorporates elements of books she’s read into her own story, including a magical wardrobe from Narnia. Parents reading this with their kids should be prepared with plenty of blank paper and drawing tools.

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