I Love You Dude

Overview

In the beginning there was a doodle. A doodle named Dude. Unfortunately for Dude, no one likes a doodle on a clean white wall, even if he is a blue elephant with lovely brown shoes. So our hero is chased off and forced to search for a new home. Rejected by the circus, pursued by hunters, and nearly washed out to sea, Dude never loses hope. Finally, by remaining true to his heart, he finds the love and respect he deserves.

The highly acclaimed creator of The Mighty Asparagus ...

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2005 Hardcover New 0152051767. 48 pages.

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Overview

In the beginning there was a doodle. A doodle named Dude. Unfortunately for Dude, no one likes a doodle on a clean white wall, even if he is a blue elephant with lovely brown shoes. So our hero is chased off and forced to search for a new home. Rejected by the circus, pursued by hunters, and nearly washed out to sea, Dude never loses hope. Finally, by remaining true to his heart, he finds the love and respect he deserves.

The highly acclaimed creator of The Mighty Asparagus brings us a compelling tale of courage, perseverance, and finding beauty in unexpected places.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this surreal escapade, Radunsky (What Does Peace Feel Like?) speaks from the point of view of "a brave young doodle named Dude." The enigmatic piece of graffiti-an improbably long-legged blue elephant wearing clunky brown shoes, with the words "I Love You Dude" lettered above it-is painted by a child on a whitewashed wall. "Nobody was happy with me," Dude says as passersby grumble about vandalism. "I was alone, ashamed, and miserable." He leaps clumsily off the wall and seeks a surface he can call home. At first he enjoys being a decal on a mug, but he gallops away when a garish woman uses the cup for scalding coffee. He contemplates becoming a tattoo on a sunbather's ponderous belly, but decides "it was not the life for me-always hiding under shirts, rarely seeing human faces... no." After real circus elephants tease him, Dude flops listlessly onto the sidewalk ("People walked over me without even noticing"). Radunsky tells the story in flat mixed-media collages that suggest carelessly painted public walls and cheap wheat-pasted flyers. He places the endearingly awkward Dude at the mercy of a clownish, Fellini-esque public. Finally, an outsider-art connoisseur recognizes a certain spontaneity in Dude's improvised line, but by then, readers of this garrulous "long short story" may have grown impatient. For all his sentimental yearning, Dude remains a two-dimensional elephant. All ages. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Dude appears as a blue elephant drawn on a wall by a little girl. She has made him skinny, he complains, with big brown shoes on his feet. Leaving the wall, he first leaps onto a mug in a store window. A young girl is thrilled to have a cup that says "I love you Dude" with his picture on it. But he is forced to leave his good life with her and is soon on the run. He has harrowing adventures on a beach, with a troupe of circus elephants, and is finally rescued from the city sidewalk, framed, and placed on a museum wall between a Picasso and a Matisse. The absurd tale is told in ten amusing tongue-in-cheek chapters building to the improbable ending. Radunsky's painted imagery tends to be as absurd as his texts. Dude is very casually chalked in blue with a red smear for a mouth. Other characters are more naturalistic, although a chorus of white elephants in pink polka-dot briefs is hardly ordinary. Here and there he incorporates photographs of items like picture frames and billboards with his display lettering for a truly unique creation open to interpretation. 2005, Gulliver Books/Harcourt, Ages 5 up.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-A freshly painted white wall in NYC sprouts a "doodle"-a blue elephant with shoes and the inscription "I Love You Dude" above it. When the police are called to take care of the graffiti, Dude runs away and searches for a safe haven. He finds a blank yellow coffee mug, which is then purchased by a little girl who loves Dude and drinks her milk from the mug each day. The doodle is happy there until a weird aunt visits and drinks hot coffee from him. He leaves the mug in search of a place where he will be loved and appreciated. After several failed attempts, Dude gives up and lies on the sidewalk, where he is discovered by an art lover who gets him framed and hung in the museum between a Picasso and a Matisse. This odd story of acceptance and finding one's place is accompanied by Radunsky's quirky artwork, expertly rendered in mixed media and collage. Teachers may use this as a lesson in art appreciation-in this book, art truly is in the eye of the beholder. Some students will find solace in the self-realization tale and hope in the message presented; however, the audience for this "long short story" is limited and the book will have to be hand-sold to appreciative readers.-Angela J. Reynolds, Annapolis Valley Regional Library, Bridgetown, NS, Canada Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An odd little story from the wizard of odd. Our hero is a doodle, a graffito really, a skinny blue elephant with shoes on each of his four feet and "I love you Dude" inscribed over his head. He is conscious. He has adventures. He escapes from the newly whitewashed wall upon which he was made, plasters himself to a mug that a little girl drinks her milk from, escapes from the girl's mean aunt, is beached (literally), dissed by the circus elephants and finally framed in gold at the museum. The cockeyed tale is told in Dude's first-person voice, illustrated with Radunsky's often-surreal multi-media images. It isn't often that one gets these kinds of existential musings-Who am I? Why, and how, do I exist?-in a work for young people, but here, or there, it is. Moreover, it's rather fun-in its way. (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152051761
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/1/2005
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.36 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

VLADIMIR RADUNSKY has illustrated many books for children, including his own The Mighty Asparagus, which was a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year and a Child Magazine Best Book of the Year. He lives in Italy.

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