I Cannot Draw a Horse
By Charise Mericle Harper (Author)
Format Hardcover Picture Book
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I Cannot Draw a Horse
by Charise Mericle Harper
Award-winning author and illustrator Charise Mericle Harper delivers a fantastically funny picture book about doing the impossible: drawing a horse. A children’s metafiction book about creativity and imaginative play centered around an art lesson, Harper cleverly shows readers how drawings are a collection of recognizable shapes put together to create something new.
Elementary-aged readers will delight as the simple “nothing shape” becomes a cat, a squirrel, a beaver, a bunny, a dog, a turtle, and a bear. But what about a horse? The cat really wants a horse. But . . . the book cannot draw a horse. Can the quick-draw book appease the horse-obsessed cat with an impressive collection of horse-y alternatives (all created from the same “nothing shape”)? Or will the cat finally get a horse?
Harper’s quirky, contemporary voice and kid-friendly comic illustration style is on full display in this hilarious picture book with art education appeal. I Cannot Draw a Horse invites young readers into the narrative fun, as do such modern classics as Press Here by Hervé Tullet, Never Let a Unicorn Scribble by Diane Alber and The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt.
Hardcover picture book; 48 pages; 10 x 10 in.
PRAISE“This book is clever in its simple story and imaginative, 2-D illustrations, which are printed on pages like graph paper. Easy text appears in both standard form and yellow speech bubbles, giving it an easy-to-follow, graphic novel feel. Creative and loaded with humor, this story will have kids giggling in seconds and trying their hand at drawing a horse—or at least a gumdrop.” — Booklist, Starred Review
“Part Ed Emberley, with a dash of Pigeon, and entirely meta.... Draw this one from the shelf for a fun, metafictive read.” — Kirkus Reviews
“This simply rendered meta read-aloud by Harper (Bad Sister) raises a host of interesting questions about self-imposed limitations as well as possibilities for growth.” — Publishers Weekly
“With antecedents in Harold and the Purple Crayon and the “Elephant and Piggie” books, Harper wields her own mischievous humor…. An easy-to-read text with exclamatory speech bubbles and pictorial antics will tickle funny bones in this off-kilter circular story.” — School Library Journal
“Harper’s illustrations make so much of so little, using a very limited palette and simple shapes, inviting readers into an artist’s notebook. With a little imagination and some paper, ‘nothing’ can become quite something.” — Horn Book Magazine
“It’s an art lesson and book rolled into one, perfect for elementary-aged readers.” —Daily Mom
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Charise Mericle Harper is the award-winning author and illustrator of numerous children’s books and series, including the Just Grace series, the Fashion Kitty series, and the Next Best Junior Chef series. Harper’s signature wit, kid-friendly illustrations, and wholly original style have made her a familiar name with caregivers, educators, and librarians looking for books that encourage imagination and showcase art education. Charise lives with her family and furry pets in Portland, Oregon.