Scribbles and doodles

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I can understand why many parents prefer to give their children a blank sheet of paper and pencils rather than a colouring book. As a child I loved drawing but I also enjoyed colouring books — there was something immensely satisfying and therapeutic in completing a page and managing to stay within the lines.

There’s a range of books for children that aren’t considered colouring books, but do provide more creative ëdirection’ than a blank piece of paper. If you are travelling, trying to keep kids occupied at a restaurant or even if you have a reluctant artist, there is a lot of inspiration to be had in doodle books (just remember how exciting we used to find Mr Squiggle!).

Illustrator Nickalas Catlow has created a number of doodle books with partially finished drawings, leaving it up to kids to fill the blanks. From the simple, such as drawing your family in a photo frame to the more obscure such as drawing ëhappy thoughts’, Catlow’s books will keep children busy.

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Also available is the Scribbles series of drawing books by Japanese illustrator, Taro Gomi. In some ways, Gomi’s books are a little more prescriptive. For example, the instruction accompanying an illustration of a pram is ëDraw some babies, make them as cute as you can’. However, in other ways the instructions encourage kids to be really imaginative, for example ëDraw an invisible man’.

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For preschoolers, The Scribble Book by Herve Tullet, encourages young artists to complete the illustrations with scribbles. Scribble flames coming out of a volcano or a plate of scribble spaghetti, the scribbles progress toward the end of the book to create genuine drawings.

Do You Doodle by Nickalas Catlow is $26.96, Scribbles by Taro Gomi is $35.96 and The Scribble Book by Herve Tullet is $19.96. All are available from Seek Books.

Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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