Poet Calef Brown, author and illustrator of such books as Flamingos on the Roof and We Go Together (which dropped January 15), transforms his paperback doodle book, Dragon, Robot, Gatorbunny: Pick one. Draw it. Make it funny., into an imaginative and interactive e-book (Chronicle, print book published April 2012; e-book November 2012). The chimerical menagerie of doodles, accompanying prompts, and occasional verse begin with a call from the author to get creative and complete some of the doodles he “forgot” to finish.
Brown morphs geometric shapes, spirals, and googly eyes into a charming combination of creatures — including flutterguys and girls (think butterflies with human faces), snowcrocs (snowmen with crocodile heads), and the title character, the gatorbunny — inviting users to participate in the doodling absurdity, either by adding to Brown’s sketches or composing their own.
The touch-screen color pallet (eraser included) is user-friendly enough, but it seems a significant oversight not to include a way to save each doodle as it’s made. Once you X out of each page, the doodle is lost for good, which could be a tragic loss for young artists. Additionally, the doodle feature promotes independent play, but Brown’s wacky words beg to be read aloud. I recommend for both play and story time. Available for iPad only; $9.99.