Scribbly: A Real Imaginary Friend Tale

HarperCollins/Harper. Jun. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062670823.
K-Gr 2–After moving to a new home in the city with her mother, a creative young girl draws a simple, life-sized dog named “Scribbly” to become her imaginary friend. Feeling lonely and awkward about making new friends, Maude relies more and more on Scribbly’s company, even at a neighbor’s birthday party. Between the playful scenes, there is a delicate lesson about building self-worth to be found in Maude’s inability to let the idea of Scribbly go. Maude’s newfound friends kindly accept Scribbly as a reassuring presence for Maude, but Maude’s mother gently teaches her daughter that Scribbly merely reflects the very best of what Maude already possesses and to believe in her own worth and talents, as her new friends already do. True to the sweet nature of the story and “doodle-happy” aspects of Maude’s joyful, if sometimes timid, personality, Adamson’s pencil and watercolor illustrations express sketch-like qualities and easy, flowing angles in the figures. Thinly outlined features and uncluttered scenes allow elementary readers’ eyes to center on Maude’s relationships and interactions.
VERDICT A generous reminder of the values of understanding, self-confidence, and support for what others personally need as a comfort during trying times.

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