Scribbles, Doodles and Squiggles: coloring books that excite kids' imagination by Taro Gomi
Image from www.chroniclebooks.com
If a student gets to pick the topic, there is some ownership and motivation to go along with the assignment. My daughters were given that very opportunity this past school year. The topics were, um, interesting. First there was the report about the "history of the basketball." No, not the sport, the ball. I actually did not mind this one since we have soft spot for basketball in our family. My dad played hoops for University of Michigan.
Then there was the report on "Hail" (notice a theme here?) and finally, to make things even more interesting, there were the reports on toilets and garbage cans. As you can see, these are not the most scholarly topics, but they are topics that we actually had fun with. It was a great way to practice information literacy skills while researching the topics. The girls had to evaluate resources for credibility, look for appropriate resources and use keywords effectively for searching. My daughters loved looking for information and reading more about their topics.
So when I ran across these coloring books — yes coloring books — I thought that they would be a great ways to encourage writing
projects opportunities at home.
Old-fashioned coloring books do provide some creativity. You can color Cinderella’s dress black and make her a redhead. When I was young, I was awed when our babysitter added pink blush and blue eye shadow to my Barbie coloring book. Of course when I tried it, my Barbie picture looked more like the Insane Clown Posse — frustrating.
Taro Gomi, probably better known for Everyone Poops, has three very thick (more than 300 pages) coloring books: Scribbles, Doodles, and Squiggles. Gomi’s coloring books are open-ended, thought provoking and spark the imagination. There is no right or wrong way to fill in the many pages of the books.
The pictures on the vanilla-colored pages are unfinished line drawings with plenty of space for a child to add what ever he or she can imagine. Each page includes a writing
prompt suggestion like:
Draw mosquito bites.
Some pages pose a challenge:
The animal with the most impressive horns wins!
The summary on the back of one of the books states it nicely: "This book is not just for coloring, but for doodling, drawing, imagining and thinking!" And writing, I'll add!