(This is a review of a book series but I’ll count it as one review. I highly recommend any of these books.)
Sometime last year on a Pajiba comment thread, I was reminded of Ed Emberley’s drawing books. I knew I had one of his books as a kid; I could so clearly see the cover in my mind’s eye (pictured above). I know that I used the book to learn to draw, because at the age of about 7-8, I had drawn a lion for my beloved crazy-cat-lady grandmother. The reason I know that I drew The Lion is because she laminated my picture and hung it in her sewing room. When she passed, my mother hung The Lion in her sewing room. You guys, I was no artist as a child and I have gained very little skill since then, trust me. But that Lion is a part of my childhood memories and a treasured keepsake of my Bamma.
Since I worked for the *Evil Colour-Based Book Empire* of Canada at the time, I searched the inventory to order every single book in his drawing series for myself and the Picture Book section (then I sold them all in a week). They are all wonderful. His style is to start with basic shapes and put them together to make an animal or monster or train. So The Lion is a huge rectagle head with circle eyes and squiggly mane. Its so simple but it is a LION. The early pages of each book start with easy drawings and get progressively harder. He also demo’s how to change minor details to make your animal look angrier or your train look faster or your witch more scary.
For a beginner, whether small child or adult, the drawings are so easy to do and so delightful. You feel like an artist! I realised as I’ve been drawing again using the Emberley technique that I’ve used this style for everything I’ve ever drawn in my life without ever knowing it. Adult colouring books are really popular these days but I’m telling you- try drawing! It’s so fun and creative! Of course I’m still terrible but I enjoy it so much!
I drew a DRAGON.
(I told you my skills have not improved.)