Niko Draws a Feeling

Book by Bob Raczka

Review by Fatima Khan, Associate Producer, ReadingWithYourKids.com

Niko draws a  Feeling is a wonderful book about abstract art and friendship! I loved this book as it helped me understand what abstract art is. It is a story about Niko, a child who loves to draw. He carries paper and coloured pencils with him all the time because he is always finding new inspiration. But he doesn’t draw traditional pictures. He draws the ring-a-ling of the ice cream truck and the warmth of the sun on his face. If he draws the ice cream truck, he’s actually trying to capture the sound of its bell. When drawing the sun, he draws the feeling of warmth on his face.

I love how author has introduced abstract art to young children in a simple language. It is interesting to read how Niko takes his painting to a thinking level of ‘what am I doing when I paint?’ and ‘what am I trying to say in this painting? rather than just drawing objects. Every time someone takes a look at Niko’s drawings including his parents & teacher, they dont seem to understand it at all which makes him disappointed. They always ask him questions about his art and are confused by his response. Then one day he meets a girl named Iris, who moved next door and she asks to see Niko’s pictures. When she sees his drawings, she seems to understand all the emotions and feelings behind his pictures. And Finally Niko has someone to share his passion with and is happy that they both see thing the same way and immediately become friends. Niko is happy to draw a special picture for Iris.

This book is definitely unique out of all the books I have read so far.  It’s about how art can be about feeling and not just real things & objects. Illustrations are wonderful and it helps readers understand Niko better and the art too. Children will want to discuss what they feel when they see the abstract swirls of Niko’s art. I would highly recommend this book to ages 5 to 9.

This book can be a great tool for teachers in classroom to teach how to depict emotions in art. I truly LOVED it!

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