“A simple and humorous read containing of childlike story and illustrations.”
The story truly begins in the endpapers with the narrator’s step-by-step instructions on how to draw a horse (and a sneak peak at the humor to come with the last step displaying a real horse covered in crayon scribbles). Proudly showing a parent a drawing of Randy, the “Beautifully Drawn” horse, the child narrator begins the imaginative story with Randy as the lead and hero. Randy can hear everything the reader hears and makes entertaining comments of his own as he follows the narrator’s adventure. He runs, gets hungry, becomes a chef, cleans up his mess, and travels through mountain, forest, and desert until arriving at a pool of water. When Randy sees his reflection, he disappointingly realizes he isn’t the fine, sparkling steed he believed himself to be, but the love the narrator has for Randy convinces him of his true value. McBeth’s wonderful display of irony, as Randy thinks himself beautiful and elegant while readers see the simple, childlike drawing he is, sets the stage for the rest of the comical moments that are sure to cause a laugh (getting stuck in the “crevasse” at the book’s center, saying the familiar phrase he didn’t make the mess but he’ll help clean it up, complaining at the length of the adventure). Both the illustrations and storyline generate a childlike appeal while maintaining a sincere, genuine tone as the narrator guides Randy through a sporadic thread of events and proudly shares “Randy did it! . . . I love Randy, my beautiful horse.”
T. L. McBeth’s Randy, the Badly Drawn Horse is the hilarious picture book tale of a child’s terribly illustrated creation who (never having seen himself) thinks he’s beautiful.
Randy knows he’s a beautiful horse―everyone says so. From his silky coat to his perfect smile to his very name, reserved only for the most special of creatures, Randy is beyond compare.
This laugh-out-loud picture book plays with expectations and takes you inside a child’s imaginary world, through construction-paper mountains, popsicle-stick forests, and sandpaper deserts. Readers are sure to fall for this maybe-not-so-beautiful but wholly endearing character.
Originally from Ohio, T.L. McBeth is an author and illustrator living and working in New York. He is the illustrator of Stegothesaurus and the Big Words Small Stories series, and is also working on writing and illustrating a few books of his own. His work has been featured on Threadless and displayed at the Society of Illustrators.