Wednesday, August 23, 2006

review: Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Animals

Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Animals written and illustrated
by Ed Emberley. 1970; Little, Brown, 2006 (0-316-78979-8) $6.99 pb

Starting with basic shapes, letters, numbers and "things" (small dots, bird tracks, curly scribbles), this book shows the reader step by step how to draw a large number of different animals animals. A bird, for example, begins with a D, plus a triangle, plus an O, plus another triangle, and so on. I like the genuine look of the pictures: nothing is too-perfectly formed, and sometimes shapes aren't entirely filled in, as if a friend were just dashing off these examples for us. The results show that even simple drawings can have verve, particularly when you add a splash of creativity: a turtle, for example, can be turned into a turtle sleeping, a turtle dancing, or a turtle skating in the rain, holding an umbrella. (4-8)