Beauty, Art, Music in Literature Books Early Readers Features Genre It's Monday What Are You Reading Lifespan of a Reader Picture Books Reading Themes

[Monday Reading] Artists and Inventors in Picturebooks

Meet Bob the Artist and Cleonardo The Little Inventor


It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community. 

As we celebrate beauty, art, music, I am glad to share two picturebooks that celebrate ingenuity, invention, and the reinvention of one’s self.

Bob The Artist

Written and Illustrated by: Marion Deuchars
Published by: Laurence King Publishing, 2016
ISBN: 1780677677 (ISBN13: 9781780677675). Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

Bob is a creature who started having body-image issues when other animals called his legs skinny, puny, and laughed at his “funny stick walk.”

Naturally, this made him feel quite upset. He started exercising, eating more, dressing up to hide his legs – but none made him feel any better. Nothing worked. Until he chanced upon an art gallery, while walking off his despair, and felt inspired by all the beauty that he saw inside.

He began having colourful ideas – which he utilized by designing/decorating his beak – ala Matisse, and at one point, ala Jackson Pollock. Brilliant, if I may say so myself.

While this book may have started off with the self-consciousness brought about by a burning desire to be accepted by most everyone – I like how Bob came into his own, in the end, by reinventing himself with utter panache, shimmering colours, and even the occasional minimalist style.

Cleonardo The Little Inventor

Written and Illustrated by: Mary GrandPré
Published by: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2016
ISBN: 0439357640 (ISBN13: 9780439357647). Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

Cleonardo came from a family of inventors. Her grandfather Leonardo, and her father Geonardo love tinkering with metals and wood, wheels and wrenches.

Cleonardo, who spends most of her waking hours in her father’s workshop, would often give a few suggestions – which her father would good-naturedly ignore or set aside. Not to be deterred, Cleonardo decided to develop her own project for an upcoming festival. She worked in secret, supported by her grandfather Leonardo who “cleaned off a large fallen tree for her worktable.”

It is apparent that Cleonardo had very different ideas from her father: with her penchant for butterfly wings, termite twine, and cloud feathers. Cleonardo was determined to come up with a big and bold invention that would make her father proud of her. At the same time, Cleonardo’s father misses his daughter’s presence in his workshop, and was equally intent on inventing something that would make his daughter proud.

How the story ends, I shall leave for you to discover. A lovely story about persistence, embracing one’s vision, and the warmth of a father-daughter relationship as they create something from out of nothing.

#LitWorld2018GB Update: United States of America / United Kingdom (Marion Deuchars live in London)

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

10 comments on “[Monday Reading] Artists and Inventors in Picturebooks

  1. Bob the Artist looks so adorable! I’ll have to find a copy to look through. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Here’s my update:

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bob the Artist looks like so much fun. The books in your post look like they will go with our collection of books about ingenuity and creativity –

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Both of these are new to me, and both sound like titles that would resonate with my college readers. Will try to find both.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bob the Artist looks so cute!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bob the Artist sound so precious! But I absolutely love the artwork in Cleonardo! Must add both to my wish list. Thanks for sharing, Myra!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh Bob the Artist sounds adorable plus with a great message to think about. Thanks for sharing about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Both books are new to me and look very interesting. Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. lindabaie

    Each book looks wonderful, Myra. As my granddaughters grow up, the self-doubt begins, from others teasing or just being more aware of how others look. I think both of these will be wonderful for them to read. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sarah Sammis

    These look like an interesting pair of books. My weekly update

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I always love seeing what you are reading! You do a great job expanding my reading horizons. I love Cleonardo already!

    Happy reading this week 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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