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