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1-2-3 Draw Cool Cartoon Stuff Review by Dena Wood

Steve Barr
North Light Books
4700 East Galbraith Road
Cincinnati, OH 45236

1-2-3 Draw Cool Cartoon Stuff really is the step-by-step guide it promises to be. After gathering what you need, including "good light" and "your imagination," Mr. Barr introduces basic shapes and lines. While the first cartoon, the sun, is quite simple, it is brought to life with instructions like "Add Color. Leave little circles of white in his glasses to look like light is reflecting off the lenses." Each drawing has step-by-step instructions with corresponding illustrations for that step. It would be truly difficult to fail using this book.

I especially liked that this book was actually for beginners. Many of the cartooning books I have seen in the past have been too advanced for the new artist. While I, as Mom, enjoyed playing with the drawings, my six year old also enjoyed the experience and was encouraged by his success. My eight year old, after just one lesson, readily added similar drawing to cards and various works of art without referring back to the book.

Another complaint I have had with previous cartooning books is that the majority of the drawings were decidedly boyish. 1-2-3 Draw sticks to fun, simple, genderless cartoons. Examples are: sun, bone, crayon, book, candle, bat, flower, hamburger, ice cream cone. The characters have fun, simple, childish personalities that children can use to illustrate drawings, letters, or anything else. The one thing that would make the book even better would be instructions or examples for appropriate backgrounds for each character.

At $8.99, the price is right to light your child's inner artist and offer some sure-fire success in beginning drawing skills. This book provides no-fail fun!

Product Review by Dena Wood, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, February, 2006