When this book hit WhatchaReading’s inbox, I got a chuckle out of the cute cover and figured I’d give it a shot – sounds like it could be fun, a kid with a Dry-Erase face, right? Draw silly faces and stuff? And then I dug in, and realized that there is so much more to this story than that.
Blank Slater is a kid born with a Dry-Erase face. He’s a blank slate (see what they did there?), and he goes through life pretty miserable – wouldn’t you? – until the day where he wanders away and discovers someone just like him! Nada Trace is a girl with a Dry-Erase face, but she isn’t wallowing at all – she grabbed some markers, pencil, and glitter, and made a face of her own! She helps Blank try on different faces, but nothing fits quite right until one day, Blank discovers his own face – and more important, a friend.
The book is a great, short story that can adapt to a huge range of age groups and learning abilities. It’s all about learning, accepting, and embracing who you are. Making your own face, so to speak. The book is drawn with a simple black and white line art, with color to enhance the world around Blank. Once Blank finds his face, he remains black and white, but not because he’s blank anymore – now, he stands out as his own person.
The story is short and sweet – perfect for a younger age group through to middle schoolers who are already starting their own identity struggles and journeys. There are worksheets and coloring sheets at the end that allow readers to create their own faces for Nada and Blank, with questions to prompt thought and discussion on feelings and emotions.
Matt Bergin’s story and Zach Wideman’s art make Blank Slater: The Boy With The Dry-Erase Face more than worth the $2.99 you can buy it for. I give it a solid 4 out of 5!
It’s an e-book for the Kindle, and the HoneyTomes website offers free, printable activity pages to use along with the book and enhance learning. (If you have an iPad the Kindle app is a free download.)
BLANK SLATER: THE BOY WITH THE DRY-ERASE FACE
Writer: Matt Bergin
Artist: Zach Wideman
Price: $2.99 (Available for Kindle)
Pub Date: June 2013