The child has one intuitive aim: self development

Book reviews by Dalila Letaief, aged 11


Book review by Dalila Letaief, aged 11, Art Awards Bronze Participant

Book Title: Portrait Drawing for kids

Author: Angela Rizza

Publication: 2020

Portrait Drawing for kids, a Step-By-Step Guide to Drawing Faces is a book designed for children aged 9 to 12 but older children and even adults can use it too. This is my review after using the book. 

When I first tried the book, I was happy with the result, my first drawing using the side step-by-step was very good (according to people around me) so based on my experience it is very good for kids like me learning how to draw. The book shows how to do the faces with guidance about proportions, shapes, shading, contour, angle and drawing more than one person. It actually boosted my confidence in drawing, I managed to complete a few activities and could clearly see how improved my drawings have become.

The book itself has different sections, one for teachers and parents. So this is also very good for art teachers and parents interested in helping their children to develop drawing skills.

There are two major sections in this book: Part One, The Basics and Part Two, The Details.

Part One has four activities teaching general techniques about getting the overall shape of the face correctly and placing each parts in proportion to that overall shape. I like that different shapes of faces are covered as we don’t all have an oval shaped face.

Part Two has eight activities and is about adding finishing touches to the drawings but also teaching how to draw in various positions and how to do group portraits.

The book is about learning drawing skills such as sketching with a pencil but have many activities a range of tools such as using acrylics, pastels, watercolour, markers can also be used. There is actually a section about the tools needed to complete the activities. 

I like the section at the beginning telling the readers how to use this book. It is short but useful to think about making the activities accessible to everyone and making drawing fun, which is important for children. Another great activity is the one looking at how portraits have been done throughout history. That chapter is very educational and incorporate arts and artists from various part of the world.

The step-by-step in each activities are not very detailed but have illustrations that are helpful in showing how to do it all. Another positive thing about the activities in this book is that they also show how to capture emotions.  

To sum up this book will teach you every aspect of portraiture from how to draw hair, nose, eyes, lips, the entire face and even posture. Although the step-by-step sections could be broken down into more steps, this is a good practical book and would make a special gift to any budding artists.

Book Title: Coloring Book First Edition 2023 Science in Colors

Author and Publisher: Koley Books

Illustrator: Koley Books

Publication Date: 14 April 2023 Format: Paperback

ISBN: 979-8391359289

For ages: made for all children and adults 

Type: colouring book 

This is the perfect book for any rainy days. A colouring book with science drawings, Science in colours is part of a series of many others including The sound of colour, with drawings about music. If you have other interests the series has it all covered, you will find illustrations of animals, plants , landscapes, and fictional characters in these other colouring books. I personally got Science in colour and The Sound of colour. 

Colouring is known to help with anxiety, stress and even depression and that’s actually the purpose of these books.  It’s also a good way to increase someone’s interest in painting. So this book would potentially boost someone’s drawing, painting, sketching skills. Additionally, it’s a great way to developed further someone’s fine motoring skills and concentration skills.

 The book has a mixture of easy and more complicated drawings to colours, that makes it ideal for something quick to colour or something more complicated and longer to do.

What makes this book and the others in the series very special is that purchasing them will help low-income children in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Koley is a non-profit foundation with a social aim so that makes these books even more interesting. I really love this story behind the books and when I use them that make me feel even better than some other children can also benefit from it.

So far I have tried a couple of easy colouring pages in Science in Colours and can see how children can do some of the pages. However other pages have more detailed drawings and would require longer time to complete. I really love the combination of colouring and music in The Sound of Colour, combining two art forms, however most pages have instruments and people that are detailed and requires lot of colouring time. I have recently learnt a bit more about warm and cold colours at an Art Club and shall definitely have more practice using these books.


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