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Secret Origami

Origami X

Origami is an fun craft experience for both boys and girls, and the paper shapes created can serve purposes beyond the decorative. At least, that’s what these two Secret Origami books, Origami X: Paper Folding for Secret Agents and Origami XOXO: Paper Folding for Special Secrets (Capstone, August 2012), propose! In Origami X, Nick Robinson […]

May the Force be with you (and your reading!)

Star Wars Reads Day

[cue 20th Century Fox intro] [cue Star Wars theme song] Tomorrow, Saturday October 6, 2012 is the first National Star Wars Reads Day, designed to “celebrate reading and Star Wars.” While this may be an unusual pairing, I’m all for promoting events that encourage children to read. So in honor of the inaugural event, I’ve […]

On onions and existentialism

The Onion's Great Escape by Sara Fanelli

Help! There is an onion trapped in this book, destined for certain death! It is up to us to save her from the Big Fry, the greatest fear of onions everywhere. But this onion has hope: “Yet I have been told / That there’s a way out / For an ONION who challenges, / Questions […]

Mash-up, indeed.

mega mash-up 1

In a sort of coloring book meets Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets Choose Your Own Adventure, Nosy Crow’s new Mega Mash-Up series by Nikalas Catlaw and Tim Wesson (December) combines marginally true information about, say, Roman gladiators, with dinosaurs (or, in another volume, aliens vs. mad scientists and—well, you get the idea) into an […]

The Pocket Bible Doodle Book

pocket bible doodle book

A blurb on the back of The Pocket Bible Doodle Book (Zonderkidz/Zondervan, January) states, “The story of creation, Noah’s ark, the plagues, and more make this Bible-based collection of doodles fun for everyone.” I can’t decide if I should laugh or be offended—the plagues can be fun? Okay… As the daughter of a Lutheran pastor, […]

Doodle to your heart’s content

s make some great art

We’re heading into gift-buying season, and activity books are a great choice for creative kids. The previous activity/coloring book I reviewed on this blog was a hit with my sister’s nephew, so I took a look at a few of the new activity books we’ve received. I love fairy tales and superheroes, but Vincent Boudgourd’s […]

Need braaains… and nimble fingers


In high Halloween spirits, Cindy, interns Melissa and Caitlyn, and I tried Duy Nguyen’s activity book ZombiGami: Paper Folding for the Living Dead (Sterling, October). After perusing the thirteen zombie-centric projects, we settled on the paper-folding tribute to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller“—who doesn’t love an undead dance scene? And, believe it or not, the two-sheet, forty-plus–step […]

A Halloween treat

how to draw a happy witch

Halloween is coming, which means it’s time to learn How to Draw a Happy Witch and 99 Things That Go Bump in the Night (Sterling, September). In Joy Sikorski and Nick Sunday’s second book about Little Man the cat (How to Draw a Sailing Cat) readers can follow the adventures of Little Man as he […]

Wild rumpus

everything butt art

I can’t draw. You wouldn’t want me on your Pictionary team. I also have a fifteen-month-old, so tushy humor is big right now. For these reasons, Brian Snyder and Alexis Moniello’s Everything Butt Art at the Zoo (Madbrook, May) caught my eye. “What can you draw with a butt? Everything!” Starting with a flattened-looking W […]

Bonjour, Monsieur Tullet!

book with a hole

Hervé Tullet — the French author, illustrator, and ad agency art director known as the “Prince of Preschool” — has been popping up all over the office recently. Tullet’s new book Press Here directs readers to press, rub, shake, and blow on colorful dots which then “transform” with the page turn. Chronicle’s been promoting Press […]