From School Library Journal
Gr 2-5–In this well-put-together resource, Cuxart shows readers how to make more than 50 different figures using clay and other materials. The book begins with basic tips and instructions and then devotes a page or two to each of the projects. The animals are arranged roughly by habitat, with sea creatures followed by jungle animals, farm animals, and insects. For each one there are illustrated step-by-step instructions and a photo of the final product. The instructions are primarily visual and are accompanied by a sentence or two of text. They are very clear, and even fairly young children should be able to follow the directions without much adult intervention. Some of the final products are more stylized than others, but all are appealing. The projects are designed to be made with nondrying clay, although they could be adapted for use with other mediums. Printed on heavy paper, the book has bright color illustrations and uncluttered white backgrounds. These projects are simpler and less stylized than those in Maureen Carlson's Clay Characters for Kids (North Light, 2003). A good choice for craft-book collections.–Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
With a kid-friendly, systematic approach to basic art instruction, Cuxart offers a vibrant book that will appeal to young artists and animal lovers alike. Repetition of a few simple key shapes and a graduated approach to the level of difficulty make the modeling-clay projects approachable enough for the beginner but challenging for older children as well. These basic shapes can be molded into a host of animal forms, from cute and cuddly rabbits to a slimy, slithering snail. Chapters sort the projects into animal types, including “Animals of the Sea” and “Animals of the Farm.” The explanation of materials used is straightforward, and the tools and extra implements are readily found around the house or school. In addition, Cuxart includes interesting trivia about many of the animals featured in the book. Perfect for a rainy afternoon at home or an elementary-school art class, this will catch the eyes of girls and boys of all artistic abilities. Grades 1-4. --Erin Anderson
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