Draw-A-Saurus by James Silvani

Note: I occasionally accept review copies from the publisher. Posts written from review copies are labeled. All opinions are my own. Posts may contain affiliate links. I may receive compensation for any purchased items.

Draw-A-Saurus by  James Silvani (Ten Speed Press, September 2014) is the perfect book for a kid who loves two things:

  1. Drawing
  2. Dinosaurs

I know one such kid, so I was delighted to come across this book. With clear step-by-step instructions, the author/illustrator shows the process for drawing realistically proportioned dinosaurs of all kinds. There is plenty of amusing side comments interspersed in the illustrations. On top of all that, Mr. Silvani provides facts about the dinosaurs, including explanations of what things we know for sure and those we do not know for sure.

I loved that the author provided plenty of outlets for the child illustrator to take their own creativity into account. We don’t know what type of outer covering many of the dinosaurs had, so it would be fun to draw the dinosaurs with feathers, for example. He consistently puts the dinosaurs in motion by having them do silly non-dinosaur things. What a great way to remind kids that their illustrations can tell their own stories!

The book was organized by dinosaur type, for the most part. There is also a section giving tips on how to fine-tune one’s illustrations and the types of settings to draw. This is a book that does not shy away from challenging the young illustrator. I believe it is best suited for the child that already loves to draw and already loves dinosaurs. The dinosaurs are described with background understanding in mind, and the how-to-draw samples, while carefully explained, are definitely for someone with a stronger understanding of shapes and drawing than myself!

If I was artistic (and I am completely not!) this would be a fantastic book. Since I’m not artistic, I’ll have to make do with getting it for a certain kid I have in mind!

Note: I received a digital review copy of this book for review consideration.

Reviewed on October 13, 2014

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

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