I was first captivated by the cover of this book—the blending watercolour, the shiny, tactile branch made from various cursive words, the sketched fuzzy thing that looks right at you with a smile. I was curious. What exactly is a Fuzzy Doodle? The kids had a few guesses… A fuzzy alien? A hairy caterpillar? The Wonderful Fluffy Squishy Itty Bitty’s best friend?

Fuzzy Doodle “started as a scribble, just a scrawly little doodle, a smudge sort of ‘something’ at the bottom of the page.” This scribble comes to life. He eats splotches of ink, nibbles on words, chomps on paragraphs, devours all the colours of the rainbow. Fuzzy grows, until one day he curls himself inside a chrysalis. I’m pretty sure you can guess what happens next.

Children are familiar with and delighted by the metamorphosis of a caterpillar. The comparison of this with the birth and growth of an idea in Fuzzy Doodle, by Melinda Syzmanik and Donovan Bixley, is inspired. An idea needs sustenance, its development takes time, it has the ability to sprout wings and fly. Szymanik’s text connects with the reader by asking questions and has touches of light humour. Bixley’s illustrations are something special. Charcoal and ink. Scribbles juxtaposed with intricate florals. Grey sketches with a glossy black and brilliant colours brought together to form a perfect synthesis. Not only do I have a cover crush, but now a new favourite. Seem to be gathering a lot of those this month.

  • Published by Scholastic New Zealand
  • 4-8 years
  • 4