Drawing Feelings with “Niko” + extension activity at home

By Cornelia Beckett, Program Specialist

Niko Draws a Feeling
By Robert Raczka

Available on Hoopla

Everywhere Niko looks, he sees “something that inspired him.” Except instead of drawing what he sees, he draws the “feeling”— not the nest, but the swirl of activity as the hardworking mother bird builds her nest.

Not the ice cream truck, but the jangly swirl of its music; not the sun, but the “warm of the sun on my face.” Not everybody understands Niko’s art, but it’s beautiful and interesting just the same. 

This simple story introduces abstract art for elementary readers, and affirms the creative process. The “feelings” that Niko draws invites a prompt for children to complete an extension activity after, including drawing their own feelings or daily surroundings. Simple abstract coloring art is also adaptable for various ability and age levels. As long as a child can hold a utensil and put it to paper, they too can draw like Niko. Drawing can also be a comforting coping mechanism for uncertain times, strengthening imagination, abstract thought, fine motor skills and attention to a task. 

Some prompts inspired by the book to get your young artist drawing: 

  • Draw the sunny scene outside your window
  • Draw your favorite ice cream flavor
  • Draw a busy bird making a nest
  • Draw three things inside your house
  • Draw how you feel today.
  • Draw the feeling of the sun on your face
  • Draw how it feels to get your favorite ice cream
  • Draw what it feels like to be a bird
  • Draw three things you see outside your window

Looking for more books ideas for kids? Check out the Bonus Borrows for Read-Along Children’s eBooks section on Hoopla here.