Customer Reviews: Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Animals
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on November 27, 2000
When I was in first grade, I had an art teacher who tried to show us how to draw using circles, lines, perspective, and so on, and I remember distinctly the experience of knowing that I could draw circles (and to an extent, straight lines) but there was no way I could put them together in a way that would look anything like the teacher's work.
This book was my salvation. Within these pages you'll find instructions on how to draw all kinds of creatures, from the lowly ant to an elaborate dragon, all by adding easy shapes (traingles, circles, linnes) one-at-a-time.
There is considerable truth in this book (and the author's others, which I unfortunately didn't discover until recently). How simplicity can communicate. How you can tackle something big by working in small steps. How you can make something you imagine come to like.
To this day I can take pleasure in drawing pictures, even though they're simple and I've never taken an art class since first grade, and I attribute a lot of that joy to this book. And nothing compares to giving a frustrated five-year-old an Emberly book and watching his face light up as he realizes that maybe he can make his drawings more than just scribbles.
This book (and the others) cannot be recommend too highly.
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on January 19, 2001
My children love all the Ed Emberley books. They discovered one at our local library and then found several at their school library. By the looks of these well-used library books, many families have shared the joy of drawing with Ed and each other! He makes it so simple that my 5-year-old can readily render this art; I think Ed made these books remembering his love for art when he was about 5. My 9 year old and my 5 year old also enjoy these books; we are getting our own copies today!
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on January 12, 1998
Ed Emberly's Drawing Book of Animals is a book that crosses age barriers. Whether you are a kindergarten student or an adult who has a phobia about drawing anything, with this book you can achieve success. I have used this book in my kindergarten classroom with great results. All my students thought they could draw anything and I found out by following the simple directions that I could too. I highly recommend this book as a gift to your young friends. Make it a complete gift with a pack of colored pens or pencils and a pad. Will keep them occupied for hours. It is good family fun for all to sit around the table and draw together. Even older kids quit feeling self conscious about their drawing and begin to enjoy creating a picture that looks like what they want it to look like. Now if you don't have any kids in mind don't let that stop you. If you know someone who does crafts, or needlework they will enjoy it too. Many ideas for decoration. Check out Ed Emberly's other titles too. Each book is based on the same principle of reducing all pictures into the basic shapes and lines we all can draw when we doodle. Ed makes your doodles into something else. Art!
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on January 29, 2006
This book is a fantastic gift for a child - or, indeed, anyone who struggles to get started on the road to drawing animals. Emberley takes elementary shapes and shows you how to put them together, step by step, to create stylised but character-filled drawings of animals. His selection is eclectic and the little drawings are great: giraffes, porcupines, raccoons, wolves, dogs, cats, lions, tigers...!

It'll kick-start a budding artist, break the 'I can't draw anything' mood everyone sometimes finds themseleves in, and is a valuable tool to get kids over the initial inability to draw things that 'look good'.

I love it. I use it every now and then when I need to 'get the gist' of an animal I am trying to capture on paper. It's beautifully simple and effective.
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on February 23, 2006
Ed Emberley's book, Make A World, was a big part of my entertainment as a child while spending summers at the cabin. Now that I am a grandmother, I have purchased nearly all of his books, including 'Drawing Book of Animals' and have rediscovered the joy of being able to 'do it myself' right along with them! Having books such as this around the house goes a long way to encouraging kids to step away from the computer and the video games and to create something fun all by themselves. These books make a great gift when given with a doodle pad and a box of colored pencils. Tucked inside of a colorful totebag, they are ready to go anywhere! Keep it up, Ed!
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on January 7, 2015
I've looked at a lot of "learn to draw" books for my 4-year-old who has started writing and is interested in learning to draw things. This one is colorful and jam-packed, but is not necessarily easy for my child to follow on his own. Perhaps it's the technique--visually similar to his thumb-print style books. You start with a colored shape, then you add embellishments in other colors. Little kids are very literal. If it looks like the picture is made with 4 different colors, they insist upon replicating it the exact same way. Guess what, markers and colored pencils are generally not erasable when a mistake is made. So this technique is not something they can do with just a pencil, which allows them to erase mistakes. Of course, you could draw the pictures with just one pencil, but my child couldn't understand that. Also, each page has many items to draw. It's visually cluttered. Scholastic publishes one called Follow the Directions and Draw It All By Yourself for grades k-2. That book has just ONE simple picture per page, all in black and white, with space beneath the instructions to follow along and draw. That book is at the level that my child can use on his own. Perhaps once he's gotten a little more practice this Emberley book will be more relevant to him.
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on July 10, 1998
I remember owning and using this book constantly when I was a kid. I recently got it for my two young ones and now they are drawing all the time! They would get so frustrated when they couldn't make something look like it was supposed to, but with this book it is easy and teaches them about using basic shapes to draw anything. It is so easy to follow, my two are both five and are doing great! Looking forward to getting some more of his books for my kids to use and enjoy.
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on January 19, 2016
My kindergartner LOVES it! He has spent hours drawing from this book. Couldn't be happier that he is developing his talent and having so much fun. It is conceptually teaching him a lot by breaking things down into simple shapes. At 5 years old he can understand and do it on his own- but it is fun for me to do with him too!

I am so happy I posted about it on Instagram and had like 20 friends tell me how much their kids love the book too!
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on September 29, 1998
My mother ordered this book for me a long time ago when I was a child- and to this day it remains in my memory as one of the most valuable books of my childhood. The techniques are simple and easy- step-by-step basic geometric shapes are assembled to create all kinds of animals, reptiles, birds and even a dragon! I am thrilled to discover it is still in print! I highly recommend it to anyone who would like to learn to draw without a lot frustration and complicated ideas. (It is geared for children, but I think adults could use these techniques too).
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on December 23, 2015
My 8 year old niece is very artistic and loves animals, so I took a chance and bought this, "how to" books as one of her Christmas presents. I let her open it early during a recent trip home, and was pleasantly surprised at her reaction. I was even more surprised when she spent the next few hours drawing many of the animals using the step by step visual instructions. We were amazed at how great the animals looked when she finished drawing them; we were able to identify which animal it was 99% of the time, (impressive for someone new to drawing).
To draw an animal you follow the a row of, "step by step" pictures which built on each other, and end with a completed animal. For example, to draw a fox, first there was a picture of a circle, then an oval attached to the circle for the body, then the long tail, etc ... down to the whiskers. And since the instructions are all pictorial, she could do these entirely on her own. They were easy enough for her to do, but not so simple for her to become bored and lose interest. There were up about 4 animals you could draw per page, so it will take some time for her to draw all of them, (and knowing my niece, she'll then go back to ones she liked best to improve and perfect them).
II bought another "how to" drawing book from a different author as well, (How to Draw Princesses and Other Fairy Tales by
Barbara Soloff Levy) not knowing if she'd like the way one book taught over the other. Upon opening the book I could see that Ed Emberley's book was far superior for beginning artists. My niece apparently agrees, because despite LOVING all things princess, she flipped through the Princesses "how to" book, then put it aside and spent the rest of the day drawing the animals from Ed Emberly's Drawing Book.
I will definitely be buying more Ed Emberley drawing books in the future!
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