CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 31. . . .April 11, 2014
Monsters. (Learn to Draw).
New York, NY: AV² by Weigl (Distributed in Canada by Saunders Book Company), 2014.
32 pp., pbk., hc. & eBook, $13.95 (pbk.), $24.99 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-62127-341-7 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-62127-337-0 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-48961-640-1 (eBook).
Monsters in art-Juvenile literature.
Grades 3-8 / Ages 8-13.
Review by Janice Foster.
A gorgon is a female monster from Greek mythology. The most famous gorgon is Medusa, the daughter of the sea god Phorcys. According to the poet Hesiod, Medusa was one of three gorgon sisters. She was once a beautiful maiden, but another goddess turned medusa into a gorgon for lying.
Monsters, part of the “Learn to Draw” series, provides the reader with more than step-by-step diagrams on how to draw six different monsters: the Cyclops, the gorgon, the mummy, the vampire, the werewolf and the zombie. The book begins with a single page explanation entitled “Why Draw?”, and this page highlights the connection between drawing, learning and communication, emphasizing how drawing helps to express oneself visually. The double-page spread of factual information that precedes each of the step-by-step drawing diagrams contains background information and a colourful labelled diagram of the monster. The resulting drawing of the monster enables the artist to communicate this learning visually.
The topic of monsters has always been a movie favourite and a fascinating drawing subject. By being provided with interesting facts about the origin of these monsters, young readers will not only learn how to draw them but will understand the details they are drawing. The large labelled diagram accompanying the factual information provides explanations for features such as the scales of the gorgon, the mummy’s amulet and the skin on a zombie. Unfamiliar vocabulary relevant to the subject is in bold text, and there is a “Key Words” section at the back defining these words. A “Test Your Knowledge” section and a “Draw an Environment” activity are included at the end of the book.
Learn to Draw Monsters is an AV² media enhanced book by Weigl. This means that, by navigating to the website and using the unique book code printed on page 2, the reader can unlock the multimedia content that supplements the book. Video, audio, weblinks, slide shows, quizzes, activities, and hands-on experiments are included. For classrooms, AV² works with all interactive white boards.
With its clear, colourful format, Monsters engages the young reader in a fun learn to draw experience with some variety in the style of the drawings. Three of the monsters are more detailed, and three are a simple cartoon style. Besides the basic step-by-step diagrams and instructions, the other features of the book, as well as the online content, provide young artists with further activities that will pique their curiosity and enhance their learning on the fascinating subject of monsters.
Janice Foster is a retired teacher and teacher librarian in Winnipeg, MB.
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