Children’s Book Review: Draw! by Raul Colon

In this wordless book, a boy is stuck in bed with asthma. He has a book about Africa and a sketchbook. We follow along as he imagines that he is in Africa drawing the animals.

Starting with a sedate artist-at-his-easel pose in front of an elephant, the illustrations become less and less predictable as he rides on the elephant to find a herd of zebras to draw, poses for a portrait drawn by a baboon, and narrowly escapes a charging rhinoceros. As the day ends the boy sadly leaves the elephant. In the final spread we see the boy, back at school, sharing his now fully painted drawings.

This book is based on Colón’s childhood when he was often confined to bed, sometimes for weeks, with asthma. He has said, “We didn’t have an X-box, so I drew?

This is a wonderful, inspired work on the power of the imagination and art to engage us and transport us.


  • Imagination, Creativity: Where would you like to go on an imaginary trip? Take a stack of paper and a pencil and quickly sketch out what you see there. Choose one of your sketches to finish with colored pencils and experiment with scratching through the layers of pencil as Colón does.
  • Geography, Science and Zoology:Where do the animals in this book run wild? Find out more about the places and animals.
Posted in Literacy Library.

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