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Grade 1-5-These two titles offer a nonthreatening approach to drawing based on readers' ability to draw circles, ovals, and eggs. The author advocates drawing "lightly" (erasing softly) and practising the basic shapes so they can be combined to achieve the desired effects. Dinosaurs provides lessons for 24 creatures, including a stegosaurus, a maiasaurus, and a velociraptor. Each entry/lesson includes a pronunciation of the name as well as very basic information (two or three sentences) about the animal. There is also a simple time line for the different eras. Using the same three shapes, Pets contains step-by-step drawing lessons for 40 animals, including gecko, chameleon, bee, scarecrow (.), horse, and turkey. In both books, the indexes are essential because the activities are not in alphabetical order. Levin clearly understands the capability and interests of young children and encourages them to go beyond the instructions and add their own touches to their projects. The text is minimal but supportive, the steps are clearly defined, the results are attractive and doable. The examples are done in shaded coloured pencil. This is not a cartoon approach to drawing like Lee J. Ames's Draw 50 Animals or Draw 50 Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals (both Doubleday, 1985). Here, young artists look at the author's samples and learn how to shade by trying to replicate the sample. Satisfying and helpful choices for beginning artists.
Dona J. Helmer, College Gate School Library, Anchorage, AK
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Charming and whimsical animals spring like magic from the hand of children's book illustrator Freddie Levin. In addition to her work on children's book, Freddie teaches art in a Chicago public school to students in kindergarten through to eighth grade.