Author(s): Melinda Szymanik
Fuzzy Doodle is a celebration of creativity. It is a sophisticated picture book in which the text and illustrations work together to create a delightful metaphor for the creative process. The text tells of Fuzzy, a small pencil doodle that magically comes to life, looking very much like a sweet little horned caterpillar. Fuzzy is hungry and immediately begins eating an ink droplet. This causes him to grow and for ink marks to appear on his pencil-sketch body. He then progresses to eating words, and from there, he moves on to eating whole stories. He eats the gold leaf from the ornate initial letter of a fairy tale, and his ever-growing, fuzzy body now sports golden highlights. From there, he moves on to illustrations, eating ‘pencil strokes and fine pen markings, paint and pastels, crayon too’. The next few pages show that Fuzzy is now a large and still growing, multicoloured caterpillar.
Soon, however, Fuzzy enters a picture that looks like a Japanese print of a branch bearing delicate pink spring blossoms. He is shown hanging from the branch and weaving a case about himself. The text queries what he could be doing inside this case, which is pencil grey with golden flecks. Further on, readers learn that the parcel has now turned pretty shades of blue and that Fuzzy appears ready to come out. Fuzzy is no longer a fuzzy caterpillar, is now a spectacular blue and gold butterfly-like book.
On the last page of text, he flies over a landscape of pencil and paint-brush trees, and the author tells us that: Having started as a squiggle, nothing more than just a scribble, a dazzling book emerged to show great things from little scribbles grow.
Shortlisted for the 2017 Picture Book Award at the NZ Book Awards for Children & Young Adults