Friday, October 13, 2023

SCRIBBLE by Ruth Ohi -- a picture book about shapes, friendship and imagination

I'm happy to share this wonderful story about friends, imagination and making marks! I read this book every year in my kindergarten class, because it has so many possibilities to connect to learning. 

Loopy line dancing over a pink circle, blue square and yellow triangle

Why this book?

I love this gentle story about three friends whose play is changed by a newcomer. The expressions on the shapes have on the cover intrigued me! This book is a great one for inspiring art as well as discussions about friendship.

My thoughts as a creator:

This is another example of a picture book with many layers. It's so clever to use shapes (there's math) in this story about friends (social emotional learning) and imagination (art). What happens when the scribble comes along, anyway? 

My thoughts as an educator:

This is a wonderful story for talking about characters and how they have different personalities. How are the three shapes different? How are they the same? It's also another story we can read to encourage discussion about friendship and feelings. I especially like to use this one before art activities with shapes. My students enjoy using this story and their own creations as inspiration for creating their own stories. 

Ages: 3 - 6

Grades: Pre K - 1

Connections: 2-D shapes, friendship, imagination, identity 


Social Emotional Learning/Drama:  Use simple puppets with shapes to act out friendship scenarios, such as making new friends, sharing toys or hurt feelings. Have children suggest ideas for social problem solving and act them out using the shape puppets.  

Literacy/Art: Provide students with shape cut outs and have them use lines and their imagination to create a shape-inspired art project. Another great art activity is to talk about how the faces on the shapes are created with simple lines and dots, and encourage children to choose a feeling to show on their own shape drawing.

Literacy/Writing: Prompt students to create a new story about one or more of these characters through drawing! Begin by drawing one of the shapes and showing how they are feeling. By asking "why" questions students can build their own story.

More resources:

Canadian author-illustrator Ruth Ohi tells us about the story and demonstrates how she starts drawing her characters:

Visit Ruth Ohi's website (click here) for activities based on the book and examples of student art work. 

Description from the publisher:

"Do you want to play?" said Scribble.

Circle loves to roll — around and around. Solid Square likes to sit still and strong. Triangle can celebrate all her good points, and always knows which direction to go. But when Scribble suddenly dashes through their ordered world — all messy lines and energy — Circle, Square and Triangle don’t know what to think.

But turns out just a zig zag here and a wavy line there are all that’s needed to stir imaginations, and soon the shapes find themselves working as a team, on a course for adventure!

Award-winning author and illustrator Ruth Ohi’s energetic art shows young readers that anything is possible with a splash of colour and the most basic shapes. This wonderful picture book will spark creativity, and encourage young minds to identify and draw the Circle-Square-Triangle-Scribbles in their worlds too!

Scribble was written and illustrated by Ruth Ohi and published by Scholastic Canada in 2016.

Visit the creators (click names for links):

Ruth Ohi

Scholastic Canada

 For more wonderful picture books, visit Perfect Picture Book Friday!

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