I love everything that Melinda Szymanik and Donovan Bixley do, so when I heard that they were collaborating on a book I was incredibly excited. The more I heard about this book, Fuzzy Doodle, the more I wanted to get my hands on it. We don’t have many books published in hardcover here in New Zealand but you know that when a publisher releases a book, especially a picture book, in hardcover that they really believe in this book. Fuzzy Doodle has just been released and it is an absolutely stunning book!
Fuzzy Doodle follows a scribble on a page as it starts to eat the ink, then nibbles letters and words, until it moves on to gobbling pictures full of colour. When it is full to bursting it makes a cocoon and then emerges and unfolds as a dazzling book. The story perfectly captures the process of creating a story, from the first scribble of an idea, building on that idea, adding colour and layers to the story, sending it out into the world and hoping that it will unfold into a book.
Fuzzy Doodle has ‘award-winning’ written all over it. It is one of those books that everyone is going to know and it will be a favourite with kids and adults alike. It is a book that speaks to you as a reader and a lover of books.
There is something magical about this book, from Melinda’s delightful text that is a joy to read aloud to Donovan’s stunning, vibrant illustrations that make Fuzzy leap off the page. Melinda has a lot of fun with words and the story is sure to introduce children to lots of fantastic new words. Fuzzy does lots of eating so Melinda uses words like ‘gobbled,’ ‘chomped,’ ‘famished,’ and ‘scrumptious.’ Donovan’s illustrations in this book are like nothing we’ve seen from him previously but they are perfect for this story. Fuzzy starts off as quite dull but the magic really happens when he discovers the ink. The ink is glossy on the pages (which looks amazing!) and so as Fuzzy eats more ink and words he starts to become glossy himself. Then Fuzzy discovers colours, and you can’t help smiling as Fuzzy gets brighter and larger. It really feels like you are holding a valuable piece of art when you are holding this book. You know that it is something special to treasure.
I urge everyone to buy a copy of this book (multiple copies if you can afford it). Fuzzy Doodle should be in every home, school and library in the country, and I hope that those outside New Zealand get the opportunity to discover this wonderful book too. If you are a teacher or a parent you need to share this book with your children. You will fall in love with this adorable Fuzzy Doodle.