kittyocean: I give this book a 5 out of 10! (5)
[personal profile] kittyocean
Title: Zo teken je Katten, honden en andere dieren
Original title: Let's draw cats
Author: Jane Robertson (art) and Sue Pinkus (text)
Language: Dutch
Series: Not mentioned, but I have another book that has the same layout.
Reviews for other books in this series (up till now): Zo teken je een dinosaurus,...
Format: Paperback
Pages: 143
Publisher: Gaade
Year published: original 1990, my edition 1993 (5th Dutch print)
ISBN number: 9060175557
Topic of the book: How to draw (animals)
Reason for reading: My sister always had this book. It somehow ended up in my bookcase.... I guess we got it at the same time I got the Dinosaur-book.
Recommended: Despite it being better than the Dinosaur-book, I still don't recommend it.

Back cover text:

Dutch:
“Katten zijn makkelijk om te tekenen omdat ze zo vaak stilliggen. Maar het is ook leuk om naar hun bewegingen te kijken als ze in bomen klimmen, zich wassen of een 'prooi' besluipen. Met eenvoudige stap-voor-stap aanwijzingen leer je ook hoe je honden, paarden, olifanten en een heleboel andere dieren kunt tekenen. Ook staat er in dit boek wat je kunt doen met je tekeningen als ze klaar zijn.”

English:
“Cats are easy to draw because they move so little. However, it's also fun to look at their movements when they climb in trees, wash themselves or prowling at their 'preys'. With easy step-by-steps you'll also learn how to draw dogs, horses, elephants and a lot of other animals. This book also mentions what you can do with the drawings when they are done.”



Comments on the back cover text:

I hardly read this book as a whole, because it belonged to my sister. So this was my first time. Anyway, the back cover text doesn't really appeal to me. Cats are easy to draw because they hardly move? So, does that mean a mountain is also easy to draw, because it never moves? Or a tree? It's the logic that makes me want to go *facepalm*. Still, never judge a book on its cover and always keep an open mind. The back text might not appeal to me, but it could appeal to many others!
It does honestly describe you learn to draw more than just cats. The English title of the book doesn't cover the contents, the Dutch title does and so does the back text.
I do consider the backside a bit empty... it could use a drawing.

First paragraph/page:

*images of animals*

Dutch:
“Dit zijn details van tekeningen die in dit boek voorkomen. Weet je op welke bladzijde die tekeningen staan?”

English:
“These are details of images that appear in this book. Can you find the pages with these images?”

Comments on the first paragraph:

It's an attempt to get the children involved, like a scavangers-hunt. Personally, I could care less and somehow I wonder if it's even grammatically correct. I think it should be 'bladzijden', but my grammar is not really that great.
It's a page I easily skip. Let's get to the drawing!

Review:
Content:

Like the previous book, this book also has 4 chapters: 'The Animal Kingdom', 'Ready to go', 'Drawing Animals is easy!' and 'Your collection of animals'.

I could repeat the whole “when will we finally get to the drawing”-thing I already did in the last review, but you have better things to do (I assume anyway ^_^).
The first 71 pages is all talk about the animal kingdom, techniques and possible drawing-ways (stick figure, cans, silhouettes and basic shapes). This book also has two pages about cartoon cats.

When we finally get to the How-to-draw-part (starting at page 72!) I can't really say I'm too thrilled. The drawing techniques are inconsistent and I often have a feeling I'm missing a step or three. The last step simply can't be compared to the final result/example drawing! A good example is the frog I drew (see below). I followed all the steps (all 4) and my result is nowhere near the example.
I deliberately picked a tutorial that included a technique I'm not used to, but the whole final step to final drawing is too big.

Considering the 'How-to-draw-cats' that was in the title, you will only find 3 lessons (6 pages) about how to draw cats. 4 lessons (8 pages) if you count the tiger along. Because the title proclaims you will draw cats, I expected a bit more... about cats.

Writing style:

The writing style is good and actually quite interesting. Despite the topics going from left to right, it's still good reading. It would be an interesting book about the animal kingdom (general information), but since this is a How-to-draw book, it's not about the chain of life. I know it's good to add some sort of background information and really, it's good reading... I just would've preferred if it was a separate book.

Art:

The artist is surely talented. Her animals look amazingly detailed and realistic. It's not photorealistic, but it reminds me of old oil paintings.
Her cartoon animals... don't appeal to me and the humans in the book have very decent and modest clothes. Like sugar-sweet-perfect kids from the 80's. I guess that's what you can expect from a book from the early 90's, but that's not my cup of tea. Still, if that was the only 'flaw', I could live with that.

Conclusion:

What I dislike about this book is the big part about text (pretty-much half the book) and the limited steps you get. You need to be pretty good to draw a realistic elephant from only 5 steps (while a mouse gets 7). The variety is nice and the art is amazingly pretty. The artist truly shows her talents; I wonder if there's an animal she has trouble with.

Rereadability:

I'd probably grab it again if I have to draw a realistic animal – I only have a few books about that. Still, if I can avoid using this book, I'd probably wood. I'd rather draw from a photo than this book, but this book helps you understand how you can put the animals in different poses. So, it's a yes-no. Yes, I'd probably re-read it, but only if I have no other choice.


Frog by *kittyocean on deviantART


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