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on December 16, 2017
I have purchased Ed’s books in the 90s and they are the best books for children to learn how to draw, illustrating easy step by step visual instructions that any child can learn to draw. It’s all about shapes! I purchased 2 of his books for my 3 year old granddaughter to add to her collection. I also kept 2 original books from the 90s that I plan to give her that were her mother’s ! I HIGHLY recommend this for all children.
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In short, this is a classic. Whenever a children's book endures for decades after its debut, it has a certain magic. That it's a drawing book with little text is all the more remarkable.

I'm in my 50s now, and I remember checking this book out of the library and spending hours going through its many drawing examples. Building animals from simple shapes any kid can draw is part of the appeal. Author Emberley teaches in such a way that even the most dexterity-challenged can draw stylized animals. No artist's eye or hand needed, just fun results.

Few books today for children are an insta-buy. This is one of them. Every kid should have this in his or her library. And if you want it to pass down to others, the durable library binding is the way to go and well worth the slight added cost.
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on January 31, 2017
Great book! It looks simplistic, but its really for any age. My son (8) and I have had a blast with this book. Shows such incredibly simple ways to draw animals. Once you learn an animal, you can adapt it any way you like. Gives you a solid starting point on just about anything.
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on August 26, 2017
Bought this book six years ago and it is still our go-to art book of choice when we have younger guests. This book really brings out talent in kids that have convinced themselves they just can't draw things. The step-by-step directions are so simple to follow and end up looking so awesome.
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on April 10, 2018
I had an ancient Ed Emberley book and I was delighted to be able to find a new one! I teach Kindergarten, and I use Ed Emberley's books for guided drawing and following directions activities. The kids are amazed that they can draw so well by following these step by step directions using familiar simple shapes.
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on August 27, 2005
Some art books can make kids cry in frustration with, "I don't get it, I can't do it". I have never had that problem with books from this artist, kids just love these! Ed Emberly has made some wonderful books for kids and grown-ups of any age that have no drawing skills, but want to learn a simple way. His books are the easiest books to get you started if you have no previous drawing skills. He doesn't talk down to you, he doesn't talk at all but uses his step by step method for you to follow. As a result, you can use these books for kids that have language issues. He starts with a step by step illustrated lesson to draw one simple item. First a simple straight line here, then insert a circle then, then another line, step by step along the way and before you know it you have a completed drawing that you can be really proud of. I teach Cub Scouts and this artist makes the perfect book for teaching a class when you are a volunteer yourself that is not an art pro.

In this book, he shows us how to make animals in drawings that when finished, you will be shocked it came from your pencil. The drawing is so simple, but looks complex when finished. Also see his book, "Make a World", and "The Big Green Drawing Book".
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on October 25, 2014
I bought a class set. We use it to discuss parts of a book, author's intention- there's a nice blurb and childhood photo at the end that explains that this is the book Emberley wanted and didn't get as a child- and using simple shapes. The book ties in with innumerable picture books read during story time, i.e., read The Lion and the Little Red Bird and students can easily draw both by following Emberley's instructions. Even students who say they can't draw can draw when using Emberley's method.
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on January 19, 2017
Love love love this book. So easy for kiddos to draw animals. It uses basic shapes and takes you through step by step process. My daughter is making her way through the book drawing everything. Will be looking into getting her other books similar to this. Very happy.
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on November 11, 2015
The book isn't as big as I had hoped, but there's definitely enough to get my little drawer started. Step by step I structuons are very easy to follow and the finished product LOOKS like a kid drew it instead of some unrealistic artist expectation that my 7 year old will never be able to do. I love that about it. I also think there's enough to get his imagination going for other things to draw using a similar idea.
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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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