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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  2,911 ratings  ·  544 reviews
Three children discover a magical bag of chalk on a rainy day
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Marshall Cavendish Children's Books
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City Dog, Country Frog by Mo WillemsA Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. SteadChalk by Bill ThomsonArt & Max by David WiesnerBink & Gollie by Kate DiCamillo
2011 Caldecott Hopefuls
3rd out of 74 books — 137 voters
The Arrival by Shaun TanFlotsam by David WiesnerTuesday by David WiesnerThe Snowman by Raymond BriggsGood Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day
Wordless Picture Books
8th out of 138 books — 216 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Conversation between my kids after reading this book.

5 year old: "I wish magic chalk was real!"
3 year old: "Yes! Maybe I will get some for my birthday! But we can't draw a dinosaur."
5 yo: "Yeah. No dinosaurs. But we could draw a car and going driving."
3 yo: "I will draw books!"
5 yo: "We could give them names and then read them. We could draw Baby Brother's Grizzly and Baby Brother will be so happy that he is real!"
3 yo: "Yeah! And I can draw my princesses."
5 yo: "And I'll draw knights and they w
Lisa Vegan
Dec 17, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: boys & girls who love dinosaurs and/or making art; kids who are not easily frightened
What a unique and interesting book. The art style is so different. A part of me wasn’t a fan, but I was wowed anyway. The pictures are so realistic, vivid, vibrant, colorful, and creative.

The story, told all via the pictures (this is a wordless picture book) of three children who draw things on the sidewalk with chalk, things that come to life, will be fun for many kids. The dinosaur is really scary though in some of the illustrations. I can see some very young or sensitive kids being scared of
Mary Ann
A young girl asked me the other day, "But is it real?" Young kids are working hard to figure out what belongs to the world of just pretend and what belongs to the "real world". We want to help them make those distinctions, and yet ... and yet... Don't we also want to help them see the magic of our imaginations, the magic in our own real worlds? Chalk, by Bill Thomson, is an amazing wordless book that embraces and celebrates kids' imaginations in a very real way. It's one of my standout books of ...more
Jess Brown
This incredibly-illustrated wordless picture book is sure to delight! Most of the time I was reading it, my mouth was gaping open. On a rainy day, three children begin to draw with some sidewalk chalk. As they draw, their images come to life: a sun, butterflies, and a dinosaur (scary!), who eventually washes away when the clever little boy draws a rain cloud inside the playground. The children leave behind their bag of chalk, sure to be found and imagined with by another group of kids. Just an a ...more
WOW. A masterpiece of photorealistic art, and a clever wordless story to boot. On a rainy day, three friends find a bag of sidewalk chalk. One girl draws a sun, and the sun comes out, leading them to realize that the things they draw come to life. The boy draws a dinosaur - as boys do - and the kids run screaming into a hiding place, where the boy, in a brainstorm, draws a raincloud, which dissolves the dino, and the drawings, and the kids put their raincoats on and walk home.

As storytelling goe
Nov 16, 2010 Inge rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: kids
A very David Wiesner-esque offering. A wordless tale where a plastic T-rex presents magic chalk to a group of children. Whatever the children draw comes to life: butterflies, the sun, and then a terrifying all-too-real T-Rex. A quick thinking child draws some rain clouds and the rain melts the dinosaur in a sort of Wicked Witch of the West type manner.
The plastic dinosaur is reminiscent of Disney's Toy Story, while the rest of the illustrations are so realistic, they seem like photographs.
An 11
Tom Franklin
One of the biggest challenges for a picture book author/illustrator is to come up with a compelling story that can deeply involve the reader without using words. Think of David Wiesner's Tuesday and Flotsam -- two great stories with pictures so rich and detailed that words are truly unnecessary.

Bill Thompson brings the same level of artistic skill to Chalk. After reading it, I wanted to re-read it to get a better idea of exactly how Thompson carried off such a rich story in so few pages and wit
Jimmy Reyes
Like any modern day playground the possibilities to use your imagination at play are endless. With a bag of chalk in hand the creative minds of how children think can really go beyond just words or pictures on the playground. We enter this playground of joy on a not-so-pleasant day accompanied by three young children. Each picture is wonderfully crafted from various points of view and immerses the reader with the feeling as if they are standing just behind the children. Bill Thompson’s careful c ...more
Wow, look for this to be among the Caldecott buzz next Jan. What an amazingly illustrated book!!! The pictures are so life-like and almost startling. The butterfly page was a hit in our house! The concept is similar to Floatsom and other related wordless picture books even so I still enjoy the simplistic beauty of this book. The ending reminds me of Jumanji (Sp?) "who will pick up the story next?"
Another really interesting picture book with no text. I am beginning to grow fond of these kinds of books. I love how it allows children to infer what they think is going to happen in the story, and that children who have trouble reading or can't read at all can still enjoy the book.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
If I were selecting the 2011 Caldecott book this would be my top selection. It is amazing. Can't wait to use it with students.
Jamie Forrest
I've never read a wordless book before! The ideas for use in the classroom are just rolling! This book is stunning!
Chalk, a wordless picture book, by Bill Thomson is a creative and colorful selection. Thomson’s illustrations are bright and detailed images. Each page is drawn by hand using paint and colored pencils. Each detail is pronounced and the images look like photographs. The characters have realistic facial expressions that enhance the story. In the story, each drawing comes to life becoming part of an easily understood story line without the use of words.

Readers can clearly see what the characters
Thomson, Bill Chalk 40 pages, Marshall Cavendish Children's Books; Language~G, Sexual Content~G; Violence~G

On a rainy day a group of children come across a bag of chalk. One child decides to use it and draws a sun. Magically, the sun immediately appears. The children then realize that this is magic chalk. Each child takes a turn and their drawings come to life as well! This is fantastic until one child decides to draw a dinosaur with sharp teeth. All of a sudden the children are running for thei
Crystal Marcos
Jan 07, 2011 Crystal Marcos rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: dinosaur lovers, wordless picture book lovers
My husband, daughter, and I read Chalk together. Let me start by saying I really enjoy wordless picture books. We had high hopes for the book, but it didn’t live up to our expectations. Don’t get me wrong, Chalk’s illustrations were quite impressive and very different, almost life-like. I guess you could say they are not our cup of tea. The story is simple. Children find chalk and draw pictures which come to life.

I usually flip through a book before reading it to my daughter, but didn’t this tim
UPDATE: My son is constantly checking this out from the library, he loves it! We like to make up our own stories about other magical chalk drawings. Such a great book!

BRILLIANT! Three kids venture to the park on a rainy day. They find a bag of chalk and unbelievable things begin to happen.

I absolutely love this book because it makes something as ordinary as chalk and transforms it into something incredible. Children have the power to do this with th
Maybe 3.5 stars. The idea and the paintings were wonderful. But why did the characters have to make stereo-typical choices of what to draw, and why did the boy have to be the one to fix things?

ETA: It has been brought to my attention that the boy was not necessarily more clever, but just lucky - after all, hew wasn't clever enough to draw a safer thing in the first place. And it was interesting that different ethnic groups were represented among the three children. Still, it's not always boys w
I think this was fun how the chalk art came to life in this world. That said, I'm not sure I was a big fan of the illustrations. I think they were well done but I just am not a big fan of the style (I realized that I recently read another book illustrated by Thompson, Building With Dad, and wasn't wild about the illustrations there, either) and I thought the part with the dinosaur being dissolved in the rain was a bit creepy. But, I thought it was very fun and mysterious/magical how the toy/stat ...more
Three children find a bag of chalk at the playground. Little do they know that the chalk is magical and what they draw comes to life. Unfortunate consequences occur when one of the children decides to draw a dinosaur. Can they escape being eaten?

This is a beautiful picture book, with photo-realistic illustrations and not one word of text. The whole story is told through the pictures, allowing parents to enter into a conversation with their children. Teachers will also love this book, as it provi
My first choice this year for innovative illustrations that look computer-generated, but aren't, and that invite us to suspend disbelief in the manner of a classic fantasy - starting in the real world, and this world is hyper-real, until the chalk provides entry into the fantasy world. I found the book mysterious and suspenseful, right up to the successful resolution. And while others make the obvious connection to Jumanji, my first text-to-text connection was with Sylvester and the Magic Pebble ...more
Oh, Bill Thomson, your photo-realistic art gets me every time. This is a gorgeous wordless picture book. I love that the illustrations fill the entire spread - for group read-alouds or one-on-one, readers feel like they're falling into the scene. Thomson's chalk takes Harold's purple crayon to the next level. Whatever is drawn, comes to life. So, if a kid draws a dinosaur...

Wordless books are especially good for readers learning English as a second language. The story can be in whatever words th
Jun 30, 2010 Tobinsfavorite rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: kids and people who like pictures
(Really, if I type "Chalk" into the search box, I shouldn't get dozens of titles before "Chalk"! Even when I changed my search parameter to "Amazon", because the book is so new, it was 9th, after 6 volumes of Redwall and some other books that aren't called "Chalk". Only one of those even had "chalk" in the title.)

But I digress.

This book is the best wordless picture book I have read in a long time, if not ever. The art is great. The story is compelling. The children are believable. Most of those
Syndi Flores
Chalk by Bill Thompson is a wordless picture book about three young children who go on an adventure. The story begins with three children walking through the rain in a park. When they stumble upon a bag of chalk each child draws their own image that comes to life! The first young girl draws the sun and all of the rain stops and a bright sun comes out to replace the rain clouds. The second young girl draws beautiful butterflies and they again comes to life and fly all around them. When the third ...more
Bethany Mcguirk
Thomson, B. (2010). Chalk. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish.

International Reading Association: 2011 Teachers’ Choices

The wordless picture book could be enjoyed by children of all ages! Since it is wordless young children are capable of enjoying it, but since it is not overly babyish, older elementary students will likely enjoy it too! It is a story about three kids who discover magical chalk that turns their sidewalk art to life! The illustrations are very realistic. The children in the
Danie Plott
Chalk is our classic “Harold’s Purple Crayon” on crack, telling a story that comes from a child’s imagination and what happens when they make-believe. One rainy day three children visit a park and find a star-spattered bag of chalk. When the first girl uses the chalk to draw a bright yellow sun it comes to life and raises into its place in the sky, clearing away the clouds. The next girl creates beautiful butterflies that immediately take off from their pavement launchpad. Now it’s the little bo ...more
Rhonda Lee
Chalk by Bill Thomson is about a young boy who has a piece of chalk and draws a t-rex. There are him and a couple of other children who are playing at the playground, when he decided to draw that image. The children have a wild imagination so the dinosaur quickly comes to life and is running around the playground scaring the children. The young boy panics and tries to find a way to get rid of the vicious dinosaur! It is all up to the young boy to get rid of the t-rex as the children try to avoid ...more
By Hannah Edmonds and Taylor O'Connor

Chalk is a magical story about three imaginative children who stumble across a bag of chalk in the park. Their ordinary day turns into an unexpected adventure when their drawings begin to come to life. Suns and butterflies are not enough to stop their fun: but a dinosaur is. Faced with perilous danger, the children run around the playground, trying to find a place to hide.

The illustrations are one-of-a-kind experience for every reader's imagination. Thomson
Jenna Kennedy
When the children inside the book draw objects with the chalk, the objects magically come to life. From pink to yellow, the chalk is used by the children to create little masterpieces that magically come to life. The butterfly flies off the cement and into the air, making the little girl feel joyful. As the other children draw a sun on the pavement, it shines right into the sky and comes to life. Suddenly, the dinosaur that the children collaborate to draw and it leaps right off the pavement. Hi ...more
Allison Hunt
Allison Hunt
Rebecca Sherod

This wordless picture book opens with a landscape picture of three children walking to the park on a rainy day. It then continues to tell the story only using pictures to convey emotions that words alone could not express. The detailed drawings throughout the book depict what is happening in a way that draws the readers attention and helps them recreate a feeling of childhood glee. The pictures take the reader along with the children on an adventure, not only to the par
Melanie Abril
This wordless picture book focuses on the adventure of three children who stumble upon a bit of magic on a rainy day. They find a bag on the toy dinosaur at the park and are filled with curiosity. The first young girl to discover the capability of this chalk draws a sun; the children are amazed as the sun peaks through the clouds and their rainy day turns into a day to play. Their imaginations run wild as they test this magic chalk soon bringing them into a dilemma in which they realize they are ...more
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Bill Thomson lives in Southington, Connecticut with his wife, Diann, and their three sons, Billy, Nik, and Ethan. Bill has illustrated Karate Hour, Building With Dad, Baseball Hour, and Soccer Hour, all written by Carol Nevius. Bill's first solo book, CHALK, was released in the spring of 2010, and he recently completed his second book, FOSSIL (Fall 2013). Bill is a Professor of Illustration at th ...more
More about Bill Thomson...
Fossil Building with Dad Karate Hour  Soccer Hour Baseball Hour

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