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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing doesn't begin to describe this book!
I just got this in the mail this morning and love it even more than I was expecting. As a lifelong paperdoll lover, I'm still in happy awe that a book like this was even made -- it really is absolutely delightful from cover to cover. All the finished paperdolls are creative and unique (and adorable, obviously). The customizable ones are so fabulous I can't wait to make...
Published on November 2, 2010 by M. Miller

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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Should Have Been Spiral Bound!! (And Other Production Errors)
This is a gorgeous book, no question. Emily Martin is a great illustrator and this book is full of beautiful, funky, weird, fun eye candy. I'd be happy to give it 4 or 5 stars as an adult art book. However, if I were rating it as paper doll book, an activity book, or even as a "craft book", I'd be giving it 1 or 2 starts. Note: This book is not for kids - at least in...
Published on June 15, 2012 by S. Fine


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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Should Have Been Spiral Bound!! (And Other Production Errors), June 15, 2012
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This review is from: The Black Apple's Paper Doll Primer: Activities and Amusements for the Curious Paper Artist (Paperback)
This is a gorgeous book, no question. Emily Martin is a great illustrator and this book is full of beautiful, funky, weird, fun eye candy. I'd be happy to give it 4 or 5 stars as an adult art book. However, if I were rating it as paper doll book, an activity book, or even as a "craft book", I'd be giving it 1 or 2 starts. Note: This book is not for kids - at least in it's present form - it would frustrate and sadden any child when s/he realizes how useless it is as a toy. I'm splitting my vote and giving it 3 stars. Here's why:

The introduction immediately addresses the problem with all beautiful paper dolls - to cut or not to cut. The author recommends making color copies of the pages which *might* make sense (see below) if one could open the book flat enough to make copies without breaking the binding! The only truly satisfying way to enjoy this book as it is would be to buy 3 copies of the book: one to leave alone and enjoy as an intact art book, one to carefully dismantle the binding and cut out half the dolls, and a third to dismantle and cut out the other half of the dolls. I love the book, but not enough to buy 3 copies!

The problems with this book (I hate to gripe, but I'd love to see a new, improved edition of this book!):

* The book should have been spiral-bound and the pages perforated!! This is a no-brainer whether the reader wants to cut the book pages or make copies. Since the author recommends cutting the book or color-copying the pages (see the problem with this suggestion below) the book should be designed to make that possible!

* The suggestion to color-copy all of the pages is either naive or indifferent to the cost of color copies (especially on card stock). Most likely it would be cheaper to buy a second and third copy of the book.

* The pages with the dolls are printed on both sides! They did arrange the pages so that each doll could be cut out by alternating the half of the page with dolls, but the other half of each of these pages contains important text such descriptions and biographies of the dolls and instructions for the dolls that need additional drawing and coloring by the reader as well as illustrations. If you cut a doll out of one half page you destroy the text description and illustrations on the other side!

* I don't understand why the publishers decided to print the 17 (double-sided, *sigh*) pages of dolls on heavier stock that is not heavy enough to allow the dolls to stand on their own. What a waste of paper!

* The dolls don't have wide enough stands at the bottom, or notches, or strips to be folded in half to make a stand. These dolls won't stand on their own! Stands are a basic feature of paper dolls that is missing here. (One could creatively cut wider bases rather than following the lines and make strips for stands out of cardstock, but then one risks cutting into the doll(s) on the back of the page, as well as the important text described above.)

* The wigs on pages 121 & 127 don't have tabs. Many of the objects are missing tabs. I haven't cut out anything from the book yet, so I can't say whether the clothes fit properly (if anyone knows, please reply and comment). As far as I can tell, the "Bonus Doll" on the back flap (which, ironically, is the only doll that is on heavy-enough stock and has nothing on the back to destroy) has no clothes included.

To sum up, this is a lovely book to look through but completely frustratiing as an activity book. Again, it is not for children - it would be cruel to give this book to a child, who would get excited about cutting out the dolls and be completely frustrated and disappointed!
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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing doesn't begin to describe this book!, November 2, 2010
By 
M. Miller (Northwest, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Black Apple's Paper Doll Primer: Activities and Amusements for the Curious Paper Artist (Paperback)
I just got this in the mail this morning and love it even more than I was expecting. As a lifelong paperdoll lover, I'm still in happy awe that a book like this was even made -- it really is absolutely delightful from cover to cover. All the finished paperdolls are creative and unique (and adorable, obviously). The customizable ones are so fabulous I can't wait to make our 'family portrait!' In fact, I'm seriously contemplating getting another copy to keep 'in tact' while I cut up this copy, it's just that much beautiful fun.

The projects that are for the paper dolls -- a stage, armoire, etc.-- also look great. I'm envisioning many lovely hours spent with my daughter this thanksgiving and Christmas vacation. She was my excuse to buy this book, but really I would have bought it anyway! Thank you Emily!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and Imaginative, November 17, 2010
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This review is from: The Black Apple's Paper Doll Primer: Activities and Amusements for the Curious Paper Artist (Paperback)
When I saw Emily Martin's The Black Apple's Paper Doll Primer, I was instantly transported back to my childhood. Emily is a #1 handmade seller on Etsy.com and her shop, The Black Apple, enjoys quite a following. She's now bringing her creativity to the Paper Doll Primer book, which is chock full of dolls, clothes, craft projects, scrapbooking tips, and much more!

The Black Apple's Paper Doll Primer starts out with 20 characters created by Emily, each complete with a back story to spark one's imagination. There's the adorable Cora in a sailor dress who enjoys "looking over the night ocean", the woodsman Henry who "prefers honey to syrup", and many more. Following the characters is a section with hundreds of paper outfits that correspond to each doll. Emily notes that all "beautiful things are made to be used" and in the case of her dolls, cut out and played with, but I just couldn't bring myself to cut into the beautifully illustrated pages!

Emily also provides instructions (and drawings) for building back drops and scenes for the paper dolls, creating an armoire for their clothes and mounting the dolls onto Popsicle sticks or stands for easier use. My favorite part of the Paper Doll Primer are the 16 customizable dolls on card stock that can be made to resemble anyone, including the owner of the book.

The Black Apple's Paper Doll Primer is too charming for words and will provide endless entertainment for an imaginative youngster...or an adult who wants to play along!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars super cute!, November 29, 2010
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This review is from: The Black Apple's Paper Doll Primer: Activities and Amusements for the Curious Paper Artist (Paperback)
LOVE the artwork! Lots of great ideas and projects to keep a young lady (or young at heart!) busy for hours on end. I especially love the Siamese twins paper doll and the sweet little background stories for each character;) However, you may want to plan to scan/copy the dolls on thicker paper so they will last longer and not be too flimsy, this is why I give the book four stars, despite it's marvelous-ness and unique artwork. If it was printed on a thicker paper I would give it a 5+!!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, but not functional, July 29, 2013
By 
Sophie (East Brunswick, NJ) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Black Apple's Paper Doll Primer: Activities and Amusements for the Curious Paper Artist (Paperback)
The book is beautiful, but not functional. I love the author's style and color palette, and the dolls in the book are just amazing. However, the book is not really good for actually cutting and using the paper dolls. For starters, it's very hard to tear out the pages. The author recommends photo copying many of the pages, but that would be quite costly and time consuming. I'm sure perforated pages and spiral binding would have rocketed the price up, but the cost of photo copying the book or buying a second (or third) copy makes the book technically more expensive to begin with.

Many of the other reviews go more into detail about how cutting out the clothes and dolls will ruin the print or clothing on the other side. All I will say about that is that I really can't grasp how on earth you print a wardrobe for paper dolls with outfits on BOTH sides of the pages! That is seriously like little girl (or boy...or in my case, 33 year old adult) torture!!! Shame on you! The dolls and outfits should be printed with blank backs. That's just how paper doll books work. Period. I wouldn't have minded less dolls and clothes if it meant that the back pages would be blank. Sorry for shouting but that really makes me mad.

Also, I started cutting out some of the clothes and they don't exactly fit. I cut out the "Alice" doll and the clothes don't match up at all...the tabs don't rest on the doll right. It's kinda like they drew the doll clothes freehand and were like, hey, close enough! Very irritating.

Even with all that said, I'm still planning on using the book as best I can. I plan on cutting out the items I like best, even if they destroy the other side of the page, and mounting them on thin magnetic paper. This way I can get rid of all those tabs and decorate my fridge with the dolls and clothes that I like best. The artwork is really quite beautiful and I think it will make a nice conversation piece in my kitchen.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Misleading with thin pages but a charming book, August 14, 2011
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This review is from: The Black Apple's Paper Doll Primer: Activities and Amusements for the Curious Paper Artist (Paperback)
The book is for sale at Chasing Fireflies (they sell unique, high end children's clothing, accessories & gifts)--which is why I assumed it was for children.

The reason why I think this book is misleading (not for children) is because the dolls are very intricate & you will need to use an X-Acto knife to cut them out of the book (or super fine surgical scissors). The author recommends scissors for most of the items, but again, one needs to do some intricate cutting & a regular pair of scissors is probably not going to do the trick. I think my daughter would get frustrated that she was constantly cutting the appendages, fingertips, & ponytails off her paper dolls. The fun part of paper dolls for a child is "punching" them out & then using regular scissors to cut out their clothes. An X-Acto knife is not a kid-friendly activity.

I thought the paper dolls were going to be perforated like other paper doll books I have purchased.

I was surprised that the paper doll pages were not a little thicker as well. The cover states they are printed on card stock--it should have been a little thicker.

Also, the author recommends you photocopy many images so you don't cut into the doll image, descriptions or accessories on the opposite page...I actually purchased 2 so I can still keep one book intact.

It is a beautiful book & I enjoy looking through & reading it-- but mommy cutting everything out kinda takes the fun out of it for my little girl. I might have to wait until she's older.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but You'll Need a Color Printer!, March 6, 2011
By 
Aurelas (the middle of nowhere, FL) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Black Apple's Paper Doll Primer: Activities and Amusements for the Curious Paper Artist (Paperback)
I have loved paper dolls since I was very small and thought I'd pretty much exhausted the ones on the market until I found this book. I wasn't sure I was willing to pay quite this much until I read the reviews that described some of the dolls, especially the conjoined twins. (I personally find these completely charming and not at all scary, by the way, and a great chance to teach children about diversity). If you are not certain you will like the artist's style, you really should check out her shop, which offers plenty of examples. ([...]) I suggest this because, though I like the style, apparently some not only dislike it but are offended by it, to judge by the reviews. If you like what you see in the shop, you will enjoy this book.
My only problem with this book is not the style of the paper dolls but the way the book is made. The paper dolls and most of the clothing are printed on both sides of the page, and the reader is encouraged to make color copies in order to be able to use every item! As color copying is not cheap, even if you have a good color printer, this is a bit of a disappointment to me and I am surprised it has not been mentioned before. I'm also afraid that removing the pages of scenery for the theatre will prove difficult to achieve without tearing the paper. These formatting problems are the only reason I have not given this book 5 stars.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful slice of fun and whimsy, December 30, 2010
By 
urban wren "wrenmade" (San Francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Black Apple's Paper Doll Primer: Activities and Amusements for the Curious Paper Artist (Paperback)
I purchased this book for my 14 year old daughter who loves all things beautiful and strange. The graphics are very sweet and the book is jam-packed with activities that keep my daughter from the computer/ipod/television for more than 30 minutes. (BIG bonus points for that!) The major downside to the book is that it is not easy to photocopy the activities since it is perfect-bound and I don't think it's reasonable to think that anyone is going to cut-out the paper dolls as suggested. Future editions would benefit from a spiral-bound spine and/or an enclosed CD to print out the many wonderful paper dolls and their outfits.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected...., May 27, 2011
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This review is from: The Black Apple's Paper Doll Primer: Activities and Amusements for the Curious Paper Artist (Paperback)
This is a lovely book of customizable paper dolls--- unfortunately, due to the title and the lack of a clarifying description, I assumed I was buying what I wanted-- a true primer on creating paperworks of a particular type. This title is misleading in the extreme; it's not for artists of any sort. Any child, even, that would be old enough to play around with the options here would likely be too old to want to... and in any case, as a curious paper artist, I'm highly disappointed and plan on sending the author a note about it. It should not even have been categorized as an art book.
Bottom line: this is just a book of pre-made paper dolls with some options for coloring/changing minor details, not a primer, manual or book of helpful strategies for creating anything.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Whimsical Play Book for Adults, February 6, 2011
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This review is from: The Black Apple's Paper Doll Primer: Activities and Amusements for the Curious Paper Artist (Paperback)
I bought this book after reading the negative reviews. I will agree that this book is not directed at the younger audience but not because of the subject matter (which I find both charming and whimsical) but merely because of the intricate cutting involved. In the artist's defense however, nowhere does it imply that it is for children. This appears to be a play book for adults.

There is another negative which the author address in the book: in order to use the book, you'll have to destroy it. By cutting out the dolls, you'll end up losing their descriptions...a shame since they're quite endearing. While I have no problem destroying books, this just feels too precious for that so I'll be scanning and printing the pages, cutting them up and sharing the dolls with my 4 year old daughter without any reservation about the subject matter or content.

This book would delight any indie artist, hipster, super cool mama, or out-of-the-box thinker.
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The Black Apple's Paper Doll Primer: Activities and Amusements for the Curious Paper Artist
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