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Sculpt-a-saur Dino Sculpting Pack--Velociraptor Review by Donna Campos

Buddy Davis
Master Books
PO Box 726
Green Forest, AR 72638

The Sculpt-a-saur Velociraptor Dino Sculpting pack is a clear plastic backpack filled with all of the materials necessary to complete a model of a Velociraptor's head. The pack includes a full-color softcover instruction book, a 32-page softcover book of Dino Activities, a skull, clay, a dinosaur eye, and straw for the sculpting of the head, and a four-piece chalk pack and six-piece crayon package for use with the activities. All of the items fit neatly in the zipper closure backpack, which includes a separate front compartment for smaller items once all of the items are opened. The activities include coloring, mazes, a page of dinosaur-related questions and answers, instructions on drawing a life-size dinosaur with the included chalk, and grid pages for drawing a Utahraptor, Tyrannosaurus Rex, and Brachiosaurus. The Dino Sculpting instruction book includes step-by-step instructions with large descriptive pictures on a plain background so that no distraction hinders the work at hand. The child can add as much or as little detail as desired, but full detailing is presented.

Also included in the instruction book is a section on how Buddy Davis sculpts a museum-quality dinosaur (he is a sculptor for the Answers in Genesis Creation Museum in Kentucky). The steps are not as detailed, but the sheer size of the task is obvious. Details of tools and techniques are revealing and educational.

The last section of the book is "Discovering Dinosaurs in the Bible"--a four-page explanation of biblical references to dinosaurs. (It is noted that the word "dinosaur" was not invented until 1841.) The explanations are based on the assumption that God's Word is true. Accurate biblical references are included, and the reader is encouraged to keep looking for clues as a Dinosaur Detective.

The Dino Activities book includes fairly standard activities, but the surprise was the extensive instructions for drawing a life-size chalk representation of a dinosaur on a parking lot. Using a carpenter's square, chalk lines, rulers, and a tape measure, the student follows the instructions and a grid drawing to copy a dinosaur onto the pavement. The result is a gigantic drawing of a dinosaur and a sense of accomplishment for the child.

Our entire family enjoyed the Sculpt-a-saur kit and will invest in additional kits to further our experience. The clay sculpture is a wonderful activity performed at home, while the travel ability of the backpack itself offers flexibility in completing activity pages at the library or family outings. The chalk reproduction was fantastic fun that will be repeated many times over for our family. The math terminology involved and the understanding of grid concepts went far beyond our expectations. The glossy Dino Sculpting book will be kept on our library shelves with the clay sculpture prominently displayed as proof of our son's achievement. The instructions were easy to follow and very enjoyable for him at eight years old, but our sixteen year old now wants her own kit as well. The reading may be beyond most eight year olds, but the information is especially profitable in a society that teaches evolution so vehemently.

Because our family has so rarely sculpted anything in the past, we wish there had been instructions on properly mounting our newly completed artwork. A simple stand of some sort would have been greatly appreciated. Some families may think there is not enough educational value in a kit that costs $20 but yields only one completed dinosaur head, but don't be deceived! This kit offers excellent coloring activities, an education in sculpting at the museum-quality level, dinosaur information, a biblical basis for dinosaurs in creation, and a great understanding of the enormity of dinosaurs when your entire family jumps into the work of drawing one on a parking lot. (Do not expect one child to complete the chalk drawing alone unless he or she is incredibly motivated; this took our entire family to complete.) The major negative we found in this kit is that it misrepresents itself as being JUST a sculpting kit. We found it to be far more than that. And of course, we dislike that it is consumable, although the included Dino Sculpting book will find a home on your library shelf.

Gather your family and order one for each of your students, because the Sculpt-a-saur is a kit not to be missed. This one kit offers art appreciation, museum function, history, creation, bible references, sculpting, mathematical grids and measurement, tactile input, family togetherness, and (lest we forget) FUN! This is a kit that will be thoroughly enjoyed.

Product review by Donna Campos, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2007