Review by Woodrow Phoenix
It’s the third week of the Cat Kid Comic Club. Naomi and Melvin can hardly contain themselves with anticipation about what will happen when Naomi’s book, The Underwear Wolves, is published and they will become millionaires. She only finished it a day earlier, and it is only eleven pages long, but she is certain a publisher will respond to her e-mail at any moment! Success is guaranteed! She is also very proud to demonstrate to the rest of the class, her tips for drawing. You may think you don’t have the talent to make a picture of anything, but here’s her secret: do you know the alphabet? Can you write your name using recognisable letters? Then you can draw! A big letter O is a head. A big letter M on top of the O is ears. Two little punctuation dots with a little O centred beneath them are eyes and a nose. A big D drawn sideways is a mouth. “Wow!” “Hey! We are drawing!” her frog siblings exclaim. Arms and legs are sideways letter Cs and can also be fingers. This gives the whole class the kind of revelation that Dave Pilkey wants all his readers to understand.
“I didn’t think I could draw…” says Starla, waving her page in the air, “But look! I can totally draw!!! I just hadn’t practised! I bet if I practice a whole bunch… I’ll be able to do anything!” “Makes sense to me!” another sister says.
On Purpose has the by-now typically entertaining mix of wacky children, funny stories, and many different samples of comics drawn with pencil, crayon and pen, photographed models and toys, clay sculptures, and many other forms of experimental story making. It’s inspirational to any children who want to make their own comics, proving that there is no one perfect way to do it; if you can imagine it, you can make it. The lessons have become less direct as the series has progressed and educational tips are layered underneath the storytelling, making the experience companionable and relatable for young readers. These books are available in both hardcover and softcover versions. Next in the series is book four: Collaborations.