Books and Websites
Children’s Book Briefs
The Drawing Breakthrough Book.
John Hastings. Hillsboro, OR: Draw
3 Lines Publishing, 2011. Paperback,
124 pp., 24.95.
John Hastings combines learning,
research, and experimentation to create a unique and absorbing system
for learning to draw in The Drawing
Breakthrough Book. No matter how
well readers draw, they can advance
their skills by understanding the contents of this book and practice. It is a
flexible system that gives support for
better drawing without being rigid.
Students from fifth grade to high
school will enjoy these drawing experiments and step-by-step techniques
for penetrating observation, structure,
and media tips. This is a very interesting book that offers mastery of drawing fundamentals, development of an
artistic eye, and a working sense of
Bear’s Picture. Daniel Pinkwater,
illustrated by D.B. Johnson. Boston,
MA: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2008.
Illus., hardcover, 32 pp., $16.00.
when he is set upon by a pair of fine,
proper gentlemen out for a walk.
These antagonist critics slightly
resemble twenties comics Laurel and
Hardy and the sophisticated symbol
of the New Yorker magazine with
his monocle and top hat. The gentlemen bluster and criticize the painting
while declaring that bears can’t paint
pictures. Young readers will enjoy
the satisfying conclusion, as they
will identify with Bear. This story is
a great bedtime read or a classroom
inspiration for teachers of young children.
How to Draw and Paint Crazy Cartoon Characters.Vincent Woodcock.
Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, 2007. Illus., softcover,
128 pp., $21.99.
This is an excellent book that prepares
and encourages middle- or high-school
readers to learn more about the cartooning field. A comprehensive primer
for cartoon character design, the book
accomplishes everything a how-to
book accomplishes, while focusing
on helping budding cartoonists work
towards personal style. Each section
contains tip lists, excellent shortcuts,
and insider notes you won’t find in
other books. I’ve used this book with
my high-school students and they love
it. It breaks down drawing techniques,
characterization, poses, and emotion
in characters, and it includes tips and
techniques for professional practices
from script to screen or print and gives
career advice on presenting your own
Sharon Warwick is an art teacher at Win-free Academy in Denton, Texas.
Catherine Nash’s Resources for Papermaking, Encaustic, and Photography
Paper piles up everywhere—junk mail,
computer printouts, flyers—and most
of it gets tossed or recycled. Why not
use it in a lesson that incorporates
history, science, and language arts,
and teaches a valuable lesson in recycling? To get started, visit a site that
draws on the expertise of Catherine
Nash, who has been studying the art
of papermaking for more than twenty-five years.
Click on Ideas for Teachers or Basic
Papermaking to find Getting Started:
The Simplest Way to Make Your First
Sheet of Handmade Paper. The list of
tools and materials (items you might
already have around the house) and
step-by-step instructions will guide
you through the process.
When you are holding your first
sheet of handmade paper, you might
wonder how and why this process
works. The Science of Paper in a
Nutshell: Chemistry and Botany,
explains the scientific principles
behind the breakdown of cellulose
fibers and their transformation into
paper. Your next question might
be “Who invented this and when?”
Read on to Notes: A Brief Historical Look at Papermaking to discover
early surfaces on which characters
were inscribed, from rock walls to