Drawing Outdoors

The narrator of the inspiring Drawing Outdoors attends a school that's "in the middle of nowhere," and has "almost nothing" in the way of supplies. But what this school does have is an extraordinary teacher who makes learning a not-to-be-missed adventure.

The teacher may not have much more than a blackboard and some chairs, but the pupils are about to become explorers with paper, crayons and plenty of imagination. "Look!"--the teacher points out a Brontosaurus near the river, a Triceratops on a big rock, a Stegosaurus hidden between stones. Pterodactyls darken the sky and when the "mountain booms and the birds stop singing," it's because a Tyrannosaurus is "roaring among the trees!" Then it's time for a snack on the back of a Diplodocus and when the students go home, they all do so with a stack of drawings and a sense of accomplishment.

The creative trio of author Jairo Buitrago, translator Elisa Amado and illustrator Rafael Yockteng (Lion and Mouse) describe in this picture book the very best kind of education. Buitrago's graceful text tells an entertaining story through the whimsical imaginations of childhood; Yockteng's digital illustrations add a touch of humor by blending the fantastical elements into the landscapes. What is central to this story is the idea that no matter what school a child attends, no matter how many or few the supplies, one dedicated professional can make all the difference. Because with the right teacher, even a school that has "almost nothing" can surely have "a Brontosaurus that's as big as a mountain." --Lynn Becker, reviewer, blogger, and children's book author

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