Reviews for Horses

School Library Journal Reviews 2009 November

Gr 3-6-This hybrid of how-to-draw and subject exploration fails on both levels. Each book introduces a single technique-perspective in Airplanes, shape in Cars, positive and negative space in Dinosaurs, proportion in Horses, use of focal points in Knights, contrast in Monster Trucks, line in Spacecrafts, and shading in Wizards-and illustrates, in four steps, how to do it. Four spreads of practice exercises (in five steps each) are then interspersed with narrative spreads covering such topics as "The Golden Age of Flight" (Airplanes) and "Concept Cars" (Cars). No attempt is made to explain the "why" of the visual phenomena being described. For example, Dinosaurs states only that "Drawing the negative space helps you see the shapes of objects and their surroundings." Also, small guide drawings make the exercises seem daunting, and the potential helpfulness of the graph-paper backgrounds is wasted by its placement on the diagonal. The writing is clunky and sometimes inaccurate. In Airplanes, for example, Lindbergh's New York to Paris flight is described as having lasted 3,312 hours, or 138 days.

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