Doodleville (Doodleville #1)

by Chad Sell (Author)

Reading Level: 4th − 5th Grade
Series: Doodleville

Drew is just a regular artist. But there's nothing ordinary about her art. Her doodles are mischievous . . . and rarely do they stay in Doodleville, the world she's created in her sketchbook. Instead, Drew's doodles prefer to explore the world outside. But after an inspiring class trip to the Art Institute of Chicago--where the doodles cause a bit too much trouble--Drew decides it's time to take her artistic talents to the next level.

Enter the Leviathan--Levi, for short. He's bigger and better than anything Drew has ever created before. He's a monster, but a friendly one. That is, until Levi begins to wreak havoc on Drew's other doodles--and on the heroes her classmates have dreamt up. Levi won't be easily tamed, and it seems there is a link between the monster's bad behavior and Drew's feelings. With the help of her loyal art club friends, will she be able to save Doodleville--and Levi--before it's too late?

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Kirkus Reviews

Will draw readers in and inspire doodles galore.

School Library Journal

Gr 3-6—Chicago native Sell's (The Cardboard Kingdom) latest graphic novel does triple duty as a tribute to the power of art, a message of the importance of friendship, and an inspired romp through the Windy City. The only child of busy parents who own a diner, nine-year-old Drew has few friends. Instead, she takes solace in her doodles, who, when they're not hanging out in "Doodleville," pop off the page and cause mischief. When Drew and her art club take a field trip to the Art Institute of Chicago, the doodles run amok among the famed paintings, frightening one of Degas's ballet dancers and making a splash among Monet's water lilies. When an angry museum bigwig scolds her for defiling a painting, Drew is consumed with worry, and her anxiety sky-rockets when her newest doodle, a leviathan, destroys Doodleville, invades the other club members' (magical but better behaved) artwork, and devours another character. Though racked with guilt, she must overcome her angst before it envelops her, with the help of family and friends. Sell has crafted a tender yet action-packed tale of a young girl who uses her creativity as an outlet for her emotions and learns to draw strength from those around her. Vibrant, whimsical cartoons keep the focus on characters' facial expressions. The tone and palette reflect the story; gentle, muted hues and controlled linework are replaced with angry purples and frenetic scribbles when the leviathan wreaks havoc. VERDICT Aspiring artists, fans of The Cardboard Kingdom, lovers of graphic novels, and anyone struggling with friendship will appreciate Sell's newest tale.—Beronica Puhr, Oak Park Public Library, IL

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Chad Sell
Chad Sell grew up in a small town in central Wisconsin. He lived in a neighborhood much like the Cardboard Kingdom, where he and his friends bounded through backyards in imaginative games and outfits. He also drew a lot and came up with all kinds of colorful characters. His favorites were often the villains, because despite being different and misunderstood, they were powerful and confident, and they got the best costumes. Chad lives in Chicago with his husband and two cats.

Follow the creators of the kingdom on Twitter at @TheCardboardK.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication date
June 20, 2020
BISAC categories
JUV008020 - Juvenile Fiction | Comics & Graphic Novels | Superheroes
JUV008040 - Juvenile Fiction | Comics & Graphic Novels | Action & Adventure
Library of Congress categories
Little Maverick Reading List
Selection 2021

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