Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Draw-A-Saurus, by James Silvani Book Review

This book was provided by its author and/or publishers in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of this publication. 


Author: James Silvani
Publisher: Watson-Guptil
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Format: Paperback, 160 pages
Series: N/A
Genre: Non-Fiction; Arts & Crafts
Avg. Rating: ★★★★✩

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This in-depth yet accessible dinosaur drawing guide combines humor, creativity, and the latest dino research to show artists young and old how to breathe life into drawings of their prehistoric favorites.  

Prehistoric Pencil Power!

Even though they lived some 65 million years ago, dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles continue to rule today. From movies to comics and cartoons, these ancient, giant beasts are everywhere you turn. Of course, who wants to just read about or watch these dinos when you can learn how to use pencils, pens, markers, and more to draw your very own? 

Cartoonist James Silvani combines easy-to-follow art exercises with the latest, greatest dino-facts to help you create fun and cool dinosaur doodles all by yourself. With lessons on old favorites like T-rex and stegosaurus, as well as lesser-known (but still awesome) creatures like the massive argentinosaurus, Draw-a-Saurus has everything the dinosaur fan could ever ask for (outside of their very own pet dino!).

Back in the day, I used to be somewhat of an artist. I loved to draw. I drew all the time.. took as many art classes and courses as I could. Then, I became an adult. Work and responsibilities made me put my art on the back-burner. Aside from random, boring doodles, I don't think that I've drawn in the better part of a decade. Then, I found out I was pregnant. Pregnancy sucked but, when I had time to myself, I always daydreamed about showing my son all of the things that I love. 

My son isn't too old (he'll be two next month), but he's already very artsy and loves doing fun activities with his mom throughout the day. One of the things that we love to do together is draw - well, doodle. But having a child so willing to learn has inspired me to push myself and make time for those creative outlets and education that I loved so much when I was younger. Draw-A-Saurus: Everything You Need To Know To Draw Your Favorite Dinosaurs was actually on my radar and on my wishlist for some time. Having the opportunity to review it was just a fun little surprise that I'm grateful for. 

No matter if you're a child or adult, beginner or expert, everyone can have fun reading and following the instructions of this book. Before you get into drawing, you can read the first chapter, titled "Getting Started" which gives you details of items you need and tips to help you with your dinosaurs. The chapters that follow are categorized into dinosaur suborders like Theropods, Sauropods, Armoured, etc etc; and this is followed with chapters that covers topics like fine tuning your drawings and environments these dinosaurs lived in. 

Being a huge fan (mainly because I have no choice) of the popular PBS show, Dinosaur Train, I knew that the first dinosaur I wanted to try to draw for my son was the Tyrannosaurus. Conveniently, it was one of the first dinosaurs covered - obviously, since T-Rex is the king and all. Sitting down with the book (and supplies), I found it amazingly easy to follow along with the step-by-step instructions that you're given. Every dinosaur pretty much starts out as a stick figure - yes, a stick figure y'all! Saying this book simplifies for even the most novice of drawers would be an understatement - this book breaks down every single detail for you and turns it into a fun activity that actually ends in realistic (and detailed!) drawings that you will be proud of, no matter what your age. As if that wasn't enough, this book is FULL of scientific facts on almost every page. Being a tomboy growing up and having been obsessed with dinosaurs for many years, I thought I knew all there was to know about dinosaurs but it seems my knowledge didn't even scratch the surface of what this book has.

Obviously, this book was an absolute home run for me. Though my son may not be old enough to actually be able to follow along, I'm confident that he'll be able to pick this book up in just a few short years and be able to draw some of our favorite dinosaurs just following the easy instruction in this book. Until then, I will happily draw all the dinosaurs he wants me to - with confidence. And I'm sure I'll be able to impress him with my newly-found vast dino-knowledge. Mommy bonus! 

I'd recommend this book for anyone and everyone. If you have a passion for dinosaurs, drawing and/or even a curiosity for science, I believe you'll enjoy this book. On my usual five-star scale, this book will definitely be receiving 5 STARS

**Source: Publisher, via Blogging For Books
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5/26/2013: If you're here and you're reading this.. thanks for sticking around! I know I've been gone for a while but I am definitely coming back. This blog will be going through some crazy transitions (layout and such) for the next few days, but I should be back up and ready to review VERY soon. Thanks so much for your patience and support!! xoxo, Missy
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