#528 – PhotoPlay! Doodle. Design. Draw. by M. J. Bronstein

photoplayPhotoPlay!: Doodle. Design. Draw.

by M. J. Bronstein


Chronicle Books     3/04/2014

Age 5 and up     128 pages


“Wondrous and wacky photographs paired with quirky, clever prompts make PhotoPlay!a delightful invitation to imaginative exploration! Design an upside-down world, a passing parade, and an underwater garden. Draw a tasty birthday cake for Bob, a pet for Grace, and Ravi’s imaginary friend. This offbeat photo-based doodle book invites creative minds of all ages to draw outside the lens.”


“What might you do with this book? Draw right on top of the photographs? Yes! Design something that seems goofy or impossible? Yes! Color outside the lines? Yes! Laugh out loud at my photographs? Yes! Laugh out loud at your drawings? Why not? With your pencils, crayons, markers, and your wide-open imagination, it’s your turn to step, jump, run, or dive right in!”


PhotoPlay! is a coloring book for kids too old to color in a coloring book with fat ducks, round apples, and the number 4. If you think you’re too old, then PhotoPlay! is the doodle, design, and –YES—the coloring book for you.  (You are also wrong. You are never too old to color in any coloring book, even if it contains the number 8!)

Inside PhotoPlay! are interesting photographs for you to complete as you see fit. The back cover is a picture of a lake or maybe the ocean, with a few people standing in the water, a kid walking in the sand, followed by a dog, and one white empty sky. As an example, the author—who probably thought this scene was a bit dull—added a sailboat, giving those just standing in the water something to look at. She also added a big bright yellow sun with an equally big smile. And, my favorite, a dolphin jumping out of the water close to shore, with a great smile and raised dolphin eyebrow. This dolphin must be what caught the attention of the kid walking on shore. Easy, right?

back on ARC

Now it is your turn. What page do you go to next? How about somewhere you can draw yourself and all your friends or relatives looking out from fancy windows with old-fashioned shutters. Or, right next to that, two large Vintage Wedgewood-style frames. A family of four fits perfectly in the windows and two BFF’s in the two frames. You can always go a bit wild and make the windows a family of dinosaurs or aliens. These are yours to do with as you please. The entire book is yours to do with as you please.

You can write a story, illustrate a comic book, sketch a self-portrait, start a list, draw a song. The pictures range from ordinary cats and dogs, basketball hoops and gym equipment, to a lone seal in the middle of nowhere and a camera looking back at you. I think of these as unusual art or writing prompts. Every page is waiting for guidance, wanting to blossom and grow, needing to be completed—all by you and your imagination and willing hand. This is not your little sister’s coloring book. PhotoPlay! really cannot be adequately described. Everyone will start with the same photographs and then end with a book of unusual photographic art. There are no rules, no right or wrong, they just are. (This is when you say, “Oh, deep.”)



PhotoPlay! must be the unusual book of the year and will win awards. That stuff is all nice, but what do you care? As long as you have a copy of PhotoPlay! Doodle. Design. Draw. your world is all set—or will be once you get out your art supplies and get to work building your own personal photographic art journal. Absolutely no one will have a PhotoPlay! Doodle. Design. Draw. like your unique, one-of-a-kind photographic journal. Do I think this is a cool, original, stupendous, idea? You bet I do. Have I started my own personal one-of-a kind journal? You can make your PhotoPlay! journal a group effort, a school class contest, a personal journey, a family event. Make it whatever you want.

FREE! Pages from the book.   Check out the Gallery.  All this and More at THE PLAYGROUND.


Check out PhotoPlay! Doodle. Design. Draw. HERE.

Buy your copy at AmazonB&NChronicle Booksyour local bookstore.


Meet the photographer, M. J. Bronstein at her website:  http://www.marciejanbronstein.com/

Find more NEW Chronicle Books at the company website:  http://www.chroniclebooks.com/titles/kids-teens

.PHOTOPLAY! DOODLE. DESIGN. DRAW. Copyright © 2014 by M. J. Bronstein. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.



Cat Says Meow

Cat Says Meow

Daddy Wrong Legs

Daddy Wrong Legs

Peek-a Zoo!

Peek-a Zoo!






All to be reviewed at KLR soon.








14 thoughts on “#528 – PhotoPlay! Doodle. Design. Draw. by M. J. Bronstein

  1. Creative prompts! Love, love the sound of this book! I’ve always been a big doodler. Give me a piece of paper and something to write with!


    • It is a hoot. There are free pages from the book. The link is right after the review on the left side of the three links. Can’t miss it. It says FREE Pages From the Book. Like I told Lpbo above you, if you doodle one of these pages, I will post it here on KLR.


  2. Oh, I LOVE this idea! I think what I love about it is that you’re given the foundation and you simply have to expand. You already have a place to begin 🙂 And I must confess, in that first picture I was tempted to draw a shark fin 😉 muwahahahahaaaa


    • If I knew a way for you to add it, I’d let you. A shark fin is close to what I was thinking. If I didn’t say this in the review, and I should have if I didn’t, there are several pages that you can download and print out for free and add your own characters. Or, if you know Photoshop or something similar, just download the pages and have at it. 🙂


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