Scribbles and Ink, the Contest by Ethan Long

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Scribbles and Ink, the Contest by Ethan Long

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: While it looks very scrappy, this is an intelligent and charming book, with a clever plot hidden within the messy appearance.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 72 Date: October 2013
Publisher: Blue Apple Books
ISBN: 9781609053512

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Scribbles the Cat and Ink the Mouse are nowhere near the average cartoon cat and mouse – for one thing they are good buddies, who like nothing more than lounging around, or being creative with art supplies. When Ink finds a contest to win an adventure holiday by drawing dinosaurs, they both have a go – with unexpected results…

Scribbles and Ink are also completely unlike Tom and Jerry for the very way they appear on the page. Ink is a bit like Jerry, if looser and more casual – but casual isn't even the word for Scribbles. If anything the rough and ready crayon effect he is made with reminds you of Roobarb and Custard on TV – you half expect them to wobble on the page with the animation. Add in Scribble's speech bubbles being made from his favourite blue colouring pencils and Ink's being decorated with his favourite red paintbrush and you have what looks like a sloppy messy little book.

But it's a fun sloppy mess. There is a bit of a moral here to encourage people to have a go, although that's not the main point of the story. This volume is the third of a series, and that may have come before. What we get here is a fun little item, with a nice surprise for the first time reader, an amusing ending and a perfectly harmless story. Picture book purists will find it a little unsavoury – why choose the handmade look over all the others out there – but I liked it. The framing of close-up details so the reveals of the dinosaur drawings are delayed, and the bright, colourful speech bubbles make this slightly more mature than some strictly to-be-read-out books, and in the end it comes down as perhaps more of a 'my first hardback comic'. In that regard, it's well presented, well made, and a success.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

I liked Maya Makes a Mess by Rutu Modan as a bigger child's first comic. Toucan Can by Juliette MacIver and Sarah Davis has a positive attitude in common with Scribbles and Ink.

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Buy Scribbles and Ink, the Contest by Ethan Long at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Scribbles and Ink, the Contest by Ethan Long at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.


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