Picture Book Review: Chalk, by Bill Thomson


Chalk, by Bill Thomson
A rainy day. Three kids in a park. A dinosaur spring rider. A bag of chalk. The kids begin to draw. . . and then . . . magic! The children draw the sun, butterflies, and a dinosaur that amazingly come to life. Children will never feel the same about the playground after they experience this astounding wordless picture book and the power of the imagination. Bill Thomson embraced traditional painting techniques and meticulously painted each illustration by hand, using acrylic paint and colored pencils.
Ages: 0 and up
Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: Scholastic (2011)

My Review:
The wordless picture book Chalk is pure imagination.

The story of a group of kids finding some magic chalk on a rainy day is told in Bill Thomson’s incredibly detailed artwork.  The art was created using traditional methods; no computers involved.  Thomson painstakingly planned and executed each illustration by hand, using a good ol’ paint brush and colored pencils.

In addition to the outstanding artwork, Chalk is also a cleverly told story.  The magic chalk comes to life when the children draw with it.  This is all fun and games until someone draws a dinosaur!

I would recommend this book to anyone from ages 0-100.  It explores the possibility that our imaginations are not always stuck in our head but can very likely come to life.

About the Artist

Bill Thomson lives in
Southington, Connecticut with his wife, Diann, and their three sons,
Billy, Nik, and Ethan. Bill has illustrated Karate Hour, Building With
Dad and Baseball Hour, all published by Marshall Cavendish and written
by Carol Nevius. Bill’s first solo book, CHALK, was released in the
spring of 2010. He recently collaborated with Carol Nevius again for
Soccer Hour (Spring 2011). Bill is a Professor of Illustration at the
Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford.

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