I recently received a very lovely email from John Fidler, the author of a wonderful "how-to" doodling booklet called A Is For Art, and after taking a peek at his shop, I promptly ordered one for Sofie. It looked wonderful, and that's exactly what it turned out to be:
The premise of the booklet, and it's really quite ingenious, is that you can draw all of these wonderful things that start out as the letter "A," like this:
Everything from robots to dinosaurs (and all sorts of animals) to great little human figures, houses and rockets. I would so love to share more pictures with you, but I'm not going to, because the book is really worth purchasing for a little one you know.
My seven-year old Sofie, for example, frequently gets very frustrated when her drawings don't look like she thinks they should. As John says, "The sole purpose of this book is to get you to draw something that looks like what it is supposed to look like." And you can! After sitting with this little book for about a half an hour, Sofie, who has never, up to this point, drawn much more than a flower or a sun, drew this:
It's not fine art, nor is it meant to be. But it is so much more than she would ever have ventured to try before (without tears, anyway). Camels, pyramids, exotic birds...it was quite wonderful! By providing a simple, straightforward method, John has inspired her to try new things, and build her confidence, creatively. Awesome.
Incidentally, John Fidler is a London-based primary school teacher, and he knows his stuff! Do check his blogfor some of the projects he's done with his students, as well as some of his own work. And order yourself a very affordably priced copy of A Is For Art right here, with free shipping worldwide.