Monday, 5 August 2013

#ReadItMD13 Theme Weeks - Drawing on a child's imagination. Books to get your little ones scribbling!

Dog Loves Drawing by Louise Yates. We love Dog!

This week for our #ReadItMD13 Theme Week we're looking at lovely books that inspire and create a love of doodling, scribbling, painting and drawing. As you'd imagine, there are tons of books that artistically inspire and we'll start with the sublime "Dog Loves Drawing" by Louise Yates.

You may already be familiar with Dog. He loves books, and in previous adventures we saw him open his very own book store after getting lost in a booky adventure. When Dog's auntie sends him a blank book one day, Dog is puzzled - but of course a blank book is the perfect place to create your own adventures. Make a few marks, draw a few lines and soon you'll be sailing the high seas or driving a fantastic train, or doing any number of brilliant things as you unleash your imagination.

"BUT I CAN'T DRAW!" shouts Charlotte from the wings. Not to worry, because lots of books show you the hows, whys and wherefores of learning to draw anything you like - from comic book heroes to cute cuddly animals.

Barroux, the awesome French graphic designer has produced a fabulous book with Blue Apple called "Draw Patterns with Barroux".

Draw Patterns with Barroux. Fun, easy and a brilliant way to learn great drawing skills
Rather than taking you through some quite complex drawing tutorials that never elicit the desired result, Barroux's approach is to teach youngsters how to make basic marks, and then start to have fun with those marks as you turn them into other things. It's a step that most drawing tutorial books miss, but learning how to effectively make marks and how to begin turning your enthusiasm into real skill is definitely worth investigating. We loved Barroux's effervescent approach, and there are so many fun pages to play around with that it's a really inspirational little book.

Once your skills start to advance, you can really ramp up the learning curve.

"Junior How To Draw Baby Animals" by Kate Thompson (Top That Publishing) is just one of a series of "Junior" drawing books from Top That which introduces more elaborate drawing tutorials and concepts.

Soon you'll be drawing ginger kittens like an artistic ninja with "Junior How To Draw Baby Animals" by Kate Thompson (Top That)
Simple step by step diagrams show you how to begin drawing everything from cute kittens to otters to funky monkeys! It was actually quite cool to see these books being used at Charlotte's school for a classroom activity where each child chose their favourite animal and learned to draw it (unsurprisingly Charlotte picked a cute puppy).

As children get older, they'll want to learn how to draw even cooler stuff. We have absolutely loved the Walter Foster "Learn to Draw Disney" books which are pretty challenging (alright, they're downright hard even for adults who have developed drawing skills) but the essential components of each tutorial lead you down different paths of investigating how to create cool and convincing characters.

We'll be taking a look at a few more books designed to encourage a love of doodling as the week progresses but no theme week would be complete without our personal favourite little scribbling dude, "Harold and the Purple Crayon" by Crockett Johnson.

Harold and the Purple Crayon. So many adventures from a simple little crayola!
We had a lot of fun reading, reviewing and drawing Harold and his purple-hued world. A collection of stories like no other, where children will love the way Harold's adventures unfold as he draws. Such an inspiration!

More soon, in the meantime keeeeeeep scribbling!