PICTURE BOOK REVIEW: I Cannot Draw a Horse by Charise Mericle Harper


Award-winning author and illustrator Charise Mericle Harper delivers a fantastically funny adventure about doing the impossible: drawing a horse.
The cat wants a horse.
The book cannot draw a horse.
The book CAN draw a squirrel, a beaver, and a bunny.
Fun . . . but the cat still wants a horse.
Can the quick-draw book appease the horse-obsessed cat with an impressive collection of horse-y alternatives (all created from the same “nothing shape”)? Or will the cat finally get a horse? The cat REALLY wants a horse.


I Cannot Draw a Horse struck a chord with me.  As a non-artist I could relate to the author/illustrator's reluctance to try drawing a horse.  Horses can be quite difficult to draw after all depending on how accurately you want to do it.  Here the author starts with a rounded-square shape which she turns into a cat.  The cat then demands she draw a horse.  Instead she starts drawing all sorts of other things, some of which get the cat into trouble. The dog for instance runs after the cat and only after receiving a skateboard from the illustrator does the cat get away.  After several further adventures, the cat convinces the illustrator to try a horse.  How that turns out, well, I don't want to spoil the ending, but it's amusing to say the least.  I quite enjoyed the humor of this tail as the author/illustrator works hard to avoid doing what the cat wants her to do.  This reminds me a great deal of some of the children I know who will go to sometimes extreme lengths to avoid even trying to do something they think is too hard.  I plan to share this book with those students in an effort to show them that they will never know what they can do if they don't try.  I thank the author for her fun, amusing tale that has a great message at the heart of it.



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