Review Blog

May 24 2013

Ellie MacDoodle: Have pen will travel by Ruth McNally Barshaw

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2011, 192 pgs (pbk.) ISBN 9781599907154.
(Age 7+). Recommended. Eleven-year-old Ellie McDougal is called Ellie McDoodle by the kids at school because she loves to draw. When her parents go away, Ellie is forced to go camping with her annoying cousins and control freak aunt and uncle. Ellie captures all the excruciating and funny details of a dreaded camping trip with her crazy relatives by illustrating her sketchbook with her observations. Due to her scathing descriptions of her relatives it is imperative she keeps this sketchbook hidden at all times. But one day her cousin Eric finds her sketchbook and along with her aunt, they read it. Now her aunt wants to talk to Ellie about her sketchbook. This is an easy read with excellent drawings to compliment the writing. The book includes; many interesting facts about animals and plants, easy to follow instructions and diagrams on how to play the games they played, jokes and humorous tales, rules for life in general and valuable lessons about getting along with others. At the end of this book there is an exciting bonus section that includes an interview with the author, how to keep a sketch journal and tips for drawing comics. This book is set out as a daily journal, so if you liked the Wimpy kid series then this book could appeal to you. If you do enjoy this book, then you will be happy to know there are more Ellie McDoodle books to look forward to.
Michelle Thomson

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