“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

The First Drawing

book-the-first-drawingWritten and Illustrated by: Mordicai Gerstein

Ages : 4 – 7 years

Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers US (26 Sept. 2013)

Theme: Imagination, Dreams

Opening Lines: Some of the oldest drawings ever found were made more than thirty thousand years ago in a cave in southern France. In that same cave is the footprint of an eight year old child. Alongside it, the footprint of a wolf.

Synopsis: (In Amazon).. In 1994, the Cave of Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc was discovered, filled with the oldest known drawings in existence at that time, made 30,000 years ago. In that same cave, prehistoric footprints were discovered: those of an 8-year-old child and a wolf. From these astonishing facts, THE FIRST DRAWING was born.

In this beautiful picture book, Caldecott Medal-winning author/illustrator Mordicai Gerstein imagines one possible way drawing was invented. The young boy that stars in this story has such a vivid imagination that he sees images everywhere – clouds, stones and smoke look like animals to him. His parents, however, don’t share his enthusiasm and wish he would be more down to earth. However the boy cannot contain his enthusiasm and one night grabs a smoky stick and “traces” the image he sees on a cave wall. Lo and behold: the world’s first drawing.

Why I like it: I love how the author has picked up on a child’s, or anyone’s for that matter, imagination and dreams. I loved how the young boy could see shapes of real things in clouds and smoke that his family could not or just simply didn’t get. The feeling of frustration is evident in the young child and it is not until he runs from a huge mammoth which had cast shadows over a cave wall that he makes his first lines to prove to everyone what he sees. And so the first drawing was made. Mordicai cleverly uses the text to talk to us, asking the reader to imagine you are back 30,000 years ago. What do you think it was like? What were you wearing? Do you see images in the shapes of stones? The text flows with some great page turns. The illustrations of simple pencilled drawings are expressive bringing drama in the colourful sky blue to the rich golden fire acrylic paint.   The Wall Street Journal best describes it as…   delicate ink over rough colorful acrylics in a visual echo of the way the fineness of artistic sensibility might have arisen in primitive Stone Age culture.

Who made the first drawing? Did you?

There’s a lot to be said for imagination, dreams and creativity… enjoy, live it!


Reading of The First Drawing…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAUvnzbkO3o

Read Mordicai’s interesting bio on his website…   http://www.mordicaigerstein.com/bio.html

This is a tour through the Cave of Lascaux in France….   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPpM_7SB91c

I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view.  So pop over  and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors

About Diane Tulloch

Known also as the Patientdreamer I am a writer who loves to dream, and is passionate about writing stories for the young so that they may join me in the wonders of adventure in countries and cultures afar, and in special moments to remember.
This entry was posted in Imagination, Perfect Picture Book Review, Susanna's PPB Fridays and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to “Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

  1. Darlene says:

    Wow! What a great concept.

  2. I agree, WOW! This is a very special book! The illustrations are breathtaking!

    • It is quite special Pat. It is the reflections from the fire that helped them create the first drawings. At least that is what Mordicai Gerstein imagines and inspires us to believe.

  3. cassam101 says:

    Hi Diane! I hope all is well with you. This sounds like a lovely book and would spark of some great conversations with children.

  4. I really like the idea of this book! 🙂 A cool cover too!

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