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Niko Draws a Feeling
Niko loves to draw. His pictures, inspired by what he observes, are abstract images of the in between—the feeling or action or intent—of a situation. He draws the “ring-a-ling” of the ice cream truck, not the truck or the ice cream; the hard work of a mother bird building her nest, not the bird or nest. Friends and family don’t understand his pictures. Believing that no one will ever understand his art, Niko expresses how he feels in a picture he tapes to his door. When new neighbor Iris learns Nico draws, she asks to see his pictures. Looking carefully at each one, she doesn’t ask what they are. When she gets to the one on his door she says, “It looks like how I feel. You know, sad because I had to move.” Niko knows he’s found someone who understands him: a new friend. A straightforward yet thoughtful narrative touches on abstract art, the complex experience of creative inspiration, and the emotions of being misunderstood. Mixed-media illustrations provide a winning accompaniment, conveying the concrete of Niko’s world, including his mixed-race family, and his abstract art. Honor Book, 2018 Charlotte Zolotow Award ©2017 Cooperative Children's Book Center
Illustrated by Simone Shin
CCBC Age Recommendation: Ages 4-7
Age Range: PreK-Early Elementary (Ages 4-7)
Format: Picture book
Subjects: Art and Artists Difference/Individuality Feelings/Emotions Friendship Multiracial Characters/Families
Publish Year: 2017
CCBC Location: Picture Book, Raczka
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