Ellen Handler Spitz reviews picture books for New York Times

by Shaun Manning on August 30, 2012

Ellen Handler Spitz, author of Illuminating Childhood: Portraits in Fiction, Film, and Drama, reviewed three new children’s picture books for the New York Times this past weekend, notably Bruce Degen’s I Gotta Draw along with Dog Loves Drawing by Louise Yates and Rocket Writes a Story by Tad Hill. Dr. Spitz’ review discusses how each book examines kids’ creative impulse, especially drawing, and how parents and educators might take these picture books’ lessons to heart.

“By paying attention to what one child needs and does, a conventional teacher can step out of her habitual mode and invent ways both to accommodate that child and to expand the expressive horizons of others,” Spitz says of I Gotta Draw, in which the young protagonist is first admonished for drawing, then encouraged to doodle. Her thoughts on Degen’s and Hill’s books are also illuminating, as these stories also unfold in ways that are natural for children and highlight their ways of thinking, seeing, and creating.

Read the full review at the New York Times. Illuminating Childhood is available now.

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