A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that I Gotta Draw portrays a misfit student (a dog) who loves to draw but isn't doing well in school -- until an understanding and clever new teacher (a cat) finds a way to reach him and teach him by letting him draw as he learns. This is a great book for kids who feel like others don't understand their passion or talent and for kids who care more about art than some of the other things that are more validated by classmates, teachers, and family members. The teacher in the book is a model of individualized instruction who's not willing to accept failure from a student who has trouble conforming.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Charlie Muttnik loves to draw, and that's all he cares about doing. He draws on his spelling papers, doodles on his math problems, and draws pictures for homework assignments instead of writing words. After he gets a bad report card, his understanding teacher finds a way to help him learn as he draws.
Is it any good?
Without being heavy-handed, I GOTTA DRAW conveys a great message about learning differences. It also celebrates a teacher who can think outside the box and bring out the best in her students. Bruce Degen, illustrator of the Magic School Bus series, shows what it feels like to be an artistic kid who's saved from academic failure by an insightful, creative teacher who figures out how to help him learn while using his skill as an artist.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what special passions or talents they have. What do you like doing more than anything else? What special talents do you have?
Does having the characters be dogs and cats make the story more fun than if they were human?
Does Charlie's teacher seem like any teachers you've had?
- Author: Bruce Degen
- Illustrator: Bruce Degen
- Genre: Picture Book
- Topics: Arts and Dance, Brothers and Sisters, Cats, Dogs, and Mice
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
- Publication date: June 5, 2012
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 5 - 8
- Number of pages: 40
- Available on: Hardback
- Last updated: July 13, 2017
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