Author: Wicker, Valeria
Inspired by a visit to an art museum, Raven sets out to create a masterpiece but her discarded mistakes start stalking her, teaching her to accept her imperfections.
Kirkus Reviews (-) (04/15/20)
School Library Journal (-) (06/01/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 05/15/2020 Wicker doesn’t play this as a scary story, but if a main character named Raven brings Edgar Allan Poe to mind, that's not entirely inappropriate. Amid shadows and dimly lit backgrounds, a small, cute child with big eyes, barely restrained red hair, and a yen to become an artist creates sheaves of unsatisfactory scribbles—which, despite her determined efforts to hide them away or destroy them, keep coming back. Will Raven be haunted by her mistakes forevermore? Not once she finally begins to see where erasures, corrections, “definitely a body part or two,” and some color here and there will turn them into finished works. “Maybe every masterpiece starts with an ugly doodle!” she crows. If her lumpy masterpieces look more suitable for refrigerators than museum walls, the notion that art needs perspiration at least as much as inspiration is still a worthy one to draw. Like Peter H. Reynolds’ The Dot (2003) and Ish (2004), this is an effective way to get creative juices flowing with atmospheric illustrations to add an unexpected tickle of dramatic tension. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2020 K-Gr 2—It only takes one visit to the art museum for Raven to fall in love. She immediately decides to turn her bedroom into a gallery and fill it with her very own masterpieces. Unfortunately, when she sits down to draw, all she can make are ugly doodles. She hates them, so she stuffs them under the bed. And that's when the ugly doodles start haunting her. No matter what she does with them, the papers come back to her. Finally, Raven gives in. She takes out her crayons and paints, adding polish and color until her bedroom gallery is full of masterpieces that started their lives as ugly doodles. Suspense build swiftly with descriptive third-person narration and well-timed page turns. Unfortunately, the story's conclusion suddenly veers away from the fun of the midsection and leaves readers with a moral that is tidy, yet lackluster. The illustrations use a mauve and mahogany palette and fuzzy black framing to create an eerie Victorian atmosphere. Raven, with her red curls and porcelain skin, has expressive eyes and body language. VERDICT Not quite a scary story, but not fully a book to inspire creativity. This is a secondary purchase for libraries.—Amy Seto Forrester, Denver P.L. - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.