My rating: 4 of 5 stars
S.J. Henderson has written two books in a series, Daniel The Draw-er, and Daniel The Camp-er. She is relaunching this book at the end of August, and I have received an ARC copy in exchange for honest review.
I liked the books so much that I have purchased them from Amazon (Daniel The Draw-er is free, and Daniel The Camp-er is available for .99 cents or Rs. 268)
An introduction by the Author/Publisher
Daniel The Draw-er was a 2015 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest Finalist.
“‘Daniel’ . . . Rises to join the ‘Underpants’ series (minus the potty humor, praise God!) and is hailed as the younger sibling of the ‘Wimpy Kid’ series for the elementary school set. If you’re looking for a bedtime read, a book report option, a classroom read aloud, ‘Daniel’ is it!”
“This is no ordinary pencil,” says the cat sitting on the end of nine-year-old Daniel’s bed. “It’s magic.”
Everything Daniel draws with his pencil–flying dragons, Octobears, and pizza-loving aliens from the planet Beezo–comes to life. It’s pretty awesome until the pencil draws a line between Daniel and his best (and only) friend Annie.
Come along with Daniel and his fantastic creatures on this fun-for-the-whole-family journey as he discovers that friendship is the greatest magic of all.
Daniel’s magic was intended for children ages 6 to 106. The book contains no pictures.
I read middle-grade books a long time ago. Recently, I have started reading bedtime stories to my daughter. When I found this book, I wondered if I would like it or even finish it.
Not only did I finish it, but I have also thoroughly enjoyed it.
I loved the cover, so appropriate for the theme and targeted readers.
Readability according to age group
S.J. Henderson has taken us back to our childhood by unleashing the highly imaginative, super creative, 9-year-old boy, Daniel’s world on us.
Ms. Henderson has used simple language keeping the age group in mind. I read excerpts from the book to my three-year-old, she liked it.
The narrative runs at a fast pace, with intervals of leisure. One time, you are in an ‘I-don’t-know-what-to-do, so-cry-for-mommy’ situation. Next moment, you are sitting on your bed and drawing an apology gift for your friend.
A fantasy world of magic pencil, Pizza-Bot, aliens, other crazy creatures the author, or rather her creation, Daniel has conjured, makes this book a complete package.
Plot and characters
The author has our attention from the very first line.
“Did you make any new friends at school today?”
Isn’t this the question we have been asked over and over again when we were school going little monkeys? I ask my daughter, and she likes it, but she is only three.
Daniel, the lead character, is a normal(ok, not so normal, but we have all ‘been there’ if we haven’t ‘done that’), 9-year-old boy, with only one friend he acknowledges. His family is entertaining and usual, with mildly protective parents and annoying older sister with a pain in the you-know-where, boyfriend.
Then there is ‘gross meatloaf’.
Daniel’s mother is a perceptive woman, but so is everybody else’s. I am sure that the author, Ms. Henderson, being a mother of boys, horses, cats, and God-knows-what-else, is well experienced in the ‘mommy-instincts’ department.
Daniel’s mom wisely suggests he makes new friends instead of hanging out with ‘Annie’ all the time. By the way, you need to read the book to know how weird Annie is. I had a paper chewing friend in school. She was safer than that the earthworm-eating, peanut butter-loving Annie. Still, I think Annie would have made a better friend.
Ah, I got lost again. See, this book does that to you. It makes you forget you are a woman, somebody’s mother, and not a 9-year-old little girl.
So, by now you understand that Daniel has a miserable life. Well, as miserable it can be, for a sheltered and loved, 9-year-old, who has to dodge bullies, feed a crazy cat with bacon, hide dragons and deal with meatloaf.
So, what happens next? Daniel finds magic in his life. We all do, at least once in our lives, many times in my life, no questions please(imagine my evil smile here).
The rest of the book is about that magical change in Daniel’s life, his struggle with power and how that affects his life. Spiderman’s uncle, a sensible man, said, “With great power comes great responsibilities.” Daniel learns that in a hard way.
I have told you a large part of the story already. You have to read the book to find out the rest. Do Daniel and Annie stay friends? Can Daniel manage the ‘little mishaps’ with his creations? Does magic become a part of Daniel’s life? Read the book folks, nothing to lose.
Daniel The Draw-er is a book anybody will enjoy. If you are a child or have a child hiding inside you, this is the book for you. We lose most of the active imagination and creative streak we all had as children, by the time we reach an age of parenthood and responsibilities. Consider this book as a temporary portal to those magical days when our only worry was about keeping Annie’s friendship or managing imaginary creatures that came out of our magic pencils and drawing books.
Details of the book reviewed
Genre: Children & Young Adults, Literature & Fiction, Middle-grade
Format: Kindle Edition (reviewed)
Print Length: 145 Pages
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