Scribbles and Ink

Overview

Two artists, two styles, and one book that may not be big enough for the both of them. See, Ink (the mouse) likes things to be clean and precise. Scribbles (the cat) is the opposite. But while there should be plenty of room for each of them to make their art without getting in each others way, or on each others nerves, THEY CAN'T MANAGE THAT! And from there paint splatters, ink goops, pencils get broken and brushes go wild until...it's not a work of art, IT'S A MESS! Discovering that they are no longer having any...

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Overview

Two artists, two styles, and one book that may not be big enough for the both of them. See, Ink (the mouse) likes things to be clean and precise. Scribbles (the cat) is the opposite. But while there should be plenty of room for each of them to make their art without getting in each others way, or on each others nerves, THEY CAN'T MANAGE THAT! And from there paint splatters, ink goops, pencils get broken and brushes go wild until...it's not a work of art, IT'S A MESS! Discovering that they are no longer having any fun, the duo tentatively tries to collaborate instead of clobber, and, thus, a disasterpiece becomes a masterpiece. Include a giant fold-out and a detachable sketchpad.

With this much creative friction, will this disaster-piece ever become a masterpiece?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for The Book That Zach Wrote:

"I should mention that I also got a sneaky peek look at a little of the Spring 2011 list and found something entirely unexpected. There is a book on there that I want. A cumulative book. A cumulative book that's by Ethan Long. I like Long just fine, but I've been waiting for years for the perfect Long book to come out so that I could review it. I believe that my prayers have been answered with the appearance of The Book That Zack Wrote. I've never seen a cumulative tale that actually made me laugh before. Somehow or other, Long has managed it. But you'll just have to wait to see what I mean..." —Elizabeth Bird, A Fuse #8 blog on the School Library Journal website

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Scribbles is a cat who draws with colored pencils; Ink is a mouse who paints with colored inks—both are critics. Scribbles sniffs at Ink's still life of stinky cheese, while Ink derides Scribbles's red cat. There's trouble ahead! Cat and mouse are ingenious about creating artistic (and funny) insults, until a swirling battle begins over who's the better artist. The resulting mess makes them decide to collaborate. Here's where the fun becomes more subtle: Ink's painting of Scribbles was inspired by Andy Warhol; Scribbles's drawing of Ink includes Keith Haring-like figures. Readers can then unfold a big poster that will make kids and adults laugh, probably for different reasons. Two pages showcase the duo's other work, each picture using the style of a famous artist. Though there's an explanatory list on the last page, it would be more fun for readers to research the artists' identities themselves, using books from the many artist series available for young readers. Long's wild, witty illustrations incorporate deft touches: Scruffy Scribbles is drawn with quick pencil strokes; smoother Ink seems painted with his own colored inks; pencils and brushes are photo collage. The palette (red, yellow, and blue with black on white) recalls Mondrian, while paint freely splashed mimics Pollock. Aspiring artists will surely realize that art has no boundaries and be inspired to follow the advice of cat and mouse: "Write your own story. Paint your own pictures." Kids who enjoyed this adventure will also savor a trip through Laurent de Brunhoff's Babar's Museum of Art (Abrams, 2003). Note: a Scribbles and Ink blank sketchbook can be downloaded from the publisher's website, blueapplebooks.com. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
Kirkus Reviews
Two artistes conflict, critique and ultimately collaborate amid a bracing mess of splashes and scribbles. Deftly drawn in ways that reflect their individual styles, Ink the dapper mouse paints neatly limned still lifes, while disheveled Scribbles the cat sketches loose portraits with colored pencils. Turning up their noses at one another's efforts ("Amateur!" "Hack!"), the two engage in an escalating squabble that begins with insults but soon takes over entire pages with Harold and the Purple Crayon–like figures and pranks. At last, a full-spread mutual meltdown depicted in wild scrawls and blotches leads to an agreement to work together--on a series of paintings (including one on a big double foldout) that bear strong resemblances to art by Leonardo da Vinci, Keith Haring and other renowned artists. Long's visual exuberance echoes that achieved in the likes of David Catrow's I Ain't Gonna Paint No More (written by Karen Beaumont, 2005) and especially David Wiesner's Art and Max (2010), which has a similar plot to boot. In closing, though, he identifies the artists he's referenced and adds a distinctive fillip by suggesting that copying great art done by others isn't a bad way to develop one's own skills. An action-packed contretemps, though in the end it's more a bit of technical advice for young artists than a general tribute to the benefits of working together. (downloadable blank sketchbook [not seen]) (Picture book. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781609052058
  • Publisher: Blue Apple Books
  • Publication date: 5/22/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 982,117
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Ethan Long

Ethan Long grew up in Pennsylvania and attended the Ringling School of Art and Design. His early list of prominent clients included Nickelodeon Studios, Scholastic, Barnes and Noble and Harcourt. Ethan's career then led him into children's books. He also decided to try his hand at an animated television series and created "Tasty Time With ZeFronk!", a short-form animated preschool series currently airing on Playhouse Disney. His work has earned many awards and has been included in the prestigious Society of Illustrators shows in Los Angeles and New York. The author lives in Orlando, FL.

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