Skip to main content

The Doodle Circle: A Fill-In Journal for BFFs to Share by Dawn DeVries Sokol

The Doodle Circle: A Fill-In Journal for BFFs to Share by Dawn DeVries Sokol is not your typical doodle book. First off, despite the title, The Doodle Circle: A Fill-In Journal for BFFs to Share is really a place for art journaling. But, that might sound a little stuffy or academic to the intended audience, which I would guess are the same girls who read Amy Ignatow's fantastic Popularity Papers series, books that could be described as graphic-journal-novels in which the middle school aged characters Lydia and Julie take turns recording (often quite artistically) the details of their lives. With The Doodle Circle: A Fill-In Journal for BFFs to Share, Dawn DeVries Sokol gives girls a chance to do something similar.

Meant to be used yearbook style, meaning the book should be passed around and filled in by the owner and her friends, The Doodle Circle: A Fill-In Journal for BFFs to Share seems like the perfect party theme for a tween sleepover or birthday. Set up a table filled with supplies (after the introduction which tells readers how to use this book, Sokol provides a great list of supplies needed) crank up the tunes and let the girls get started journaling, doodling and sharing. The great thing about The Doodle Circle: A Fill-In Journal for BFFs to Share, besides the fantastic prompts and exercises that Sokol has come up with, is the fact that the background of every page IS NOT that daunting, pristine, blank white page, but a collection of very cool swirly, tie-dye-ish, colorful washes that are very pretty and definitely inspirational. Sokol also hand letters her prompts and includes border drawings on many of the pages as well. While the journal is a great memento of special friendships, it's also filled with words of love and  encouragement from friends, which is great anytime, but especially during the middle school years.

Before the doodling and journaling begins, Sokol gives the owner and contributors to The Doodle Circle: A Fill-In Journal for BFFs to Share a place to record information like name, age and birthplace and a photo. She also gives the Circle Sisters (contributors to and owner of the books) a page of guidelines for what and how to answer the prompts, encouraging honesty and kindness. There is also a page for the Circle Sisters to invent their own symbols that will indicate their doodling on a page.

In Chapter 1, the prompts and exercises are to be answered by each friend about herself. One of the first prompts in The Doodle Circle: A Fill-In Journal for BFFs to Share asks the Circle Sisters write and illustrate their favorite word. Chapter 2 is for the owner of the journal where she can write, doodle and collage all about herself.

In Chapter 3, each friend doodles, writes and collages about the owner of the book. The Fun Fact page asks the Circle Sisters to put down one fun thing about the owner of the journal that makes her HER.

In Chapter 4, all the Circle Sisters work together to doodle group masterpieces. The Fear Factor page  in Chapter 4 encourages the Circle Sisters to doodle or collage something that scares them or symbolizes a fear for them. Once this is done, the Circle Sisters go back and doodle over the symbols and images, making them less scary.

In Chapter 4 the Circle Shorthand page prompts the Circle Sisters to create their own shorthand by doodling symbols that represent words.

Source: Review Copy


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…