kittyocean: I give this book a 6 out of 10! (6)
[personal profile] kittyocean
Title: “Puntje, rondje, streepje” (Dot, circle, line/stripe)
Original title: “Für kleine Zeichner”
Author: Bob Heinz
Language: Dutch (original language: German)
Series: None
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Publisher: Uitgeverij Helmond
Year published: original 1980, my edition 1981
ISBN number: 9025248489
Topic of the book: How to draw
Reason for reading: It was my very first how to draw book
Recommended: Yes

Back cover text:

Dutch: “Hoewel dit boekje in principe is bedoeld voor kleine tekenaartjes, zal ook menige volwassene er zijn of haar voordeel mee kunnen doen. Want hoe vaak komt het niet voor dat we iets proberen uit te beelden en op een gegeven moment tot de ontdekking komen dat er aan hetgeen op papier is gezet kop noch staart zit.
Weet u dat tekenen eigenlijk helemaal niet moeilijk is? Met in deze uitgave gegeven grondelementen, t.w. Een puntje, een rondje en een streepje, zijn honderden figuren en voorwerpen uit te beelden.
Stap voor stap wordt geleerd hoe de figuurtjes en voorwerpen moeten worden opgebouwd en het zal niet lang duren of uw kinderen zullen in staat zijn alles te tekenen wat ze willen.”

English: “Despite this book being for the little artists, many adults will be able to use this in his or her advantage. How often do we realise that what we intended to draw doesn't look like it at all.
Did you know it's not that hard? With this edition we show the basic elements, a dot, a circle and a line and how you can use that to create hundred of things.
Step by step we will teach you how people and objects can be built and it won't be long before your children can draw anything they want.”



Comments on the back cover text:

I never read the backside before. I've had this book for as long as I can remember; it was my first How to draw book. The books shows that as well; stained cover, yellow pages... and in a remarkable good condition!
The one who wrote this back text never heard of keeping things short. Not to mention it's boring. Considering the time (the 80's) this might have been normal, but this text aimed for parents, not for kids. It would suit in a magazine about children's education or development. If I didn't know any better, I wouldn't have read it at all, considering the back cover text.
The back cover text is representative for the contents, though. Big walls of text...

First paragraph/page:

Dutch: “Punt, punt, komma, streep,
Kijk, het mannetje van de maan,
Hoe dikwijls tekende je dat al,
Terwijl je nog niet zeker wist,
Hoe je een echt mensje tekenen moest,
Dat lopen, lachen en huilen kan,
Dit boekje leert het jou kort en bondig,
Ben je klaar voor de reis door tekenland?”

English: “Dot, dot, comma, line,
Look, the man of the moon,
How often did you draw this,
While you didn't know for sure,
How to draw a real human being,
Dat can walk, laugh and cry,
This little book teaches you short and to the point,
Are you ready for the journey through drawing-land?”

Comments on the first paragraph:

Do note that I never read the text before. I only looked at pictures... and now I'm glad I never read it! What annoys me is the use of capitalized letters at the beginning of each line, while it ends with a comma. Also, the text is supposed to appeal a child, but who is 'The man of the moon'?
The text is also not representative for the rest of the book. The rest of the book has better text and is more aimed at children.
If this was my first meeting of the book, I probably wouldn't have read on.

Review:
Content:

The drawings are shown in a light blue, while the text is in black. The text is also in a fairly small font. Little children who just started reading will have a lot of trouble reading it.

The steps are easy to follow, even if the next step is shown in blue as well. Everything is built from basic shapes, like a dot, a circle, or a line. You first start with a face, then a basic stickfigure and slowly start with more complex figures. I think the most complex figure would be Santa Claus or the flying bird. Still, everything remains in cartoon-y style. The characters almost all look to the left or the front and there's little perspective.

Writing style:

Just looking at the blocks of text makes me want to not read them. The pages are mostly divided into three rows, so a single line is spread over two to four lines. Also, the font is pretty small.
If I do read the text, it's more aimed for children and often pleasant to read. It's not difficult and the writer tries to throw in a few jokes. He compares the shapes to things children know, like a potato, a balloon and a sausage.... hold on, so that's where I get my comparisons!
It would be nice if every character had its own page. It now is one continious text, seperated by images/steps.

Art:

The art is simple, but that was the aim of the book. It's pretty much impossible to fail with this book. Sure, it's not very complex or detailed, but it helped me a lot with develloping my own skills. I still built up things by using circles and sausages!

Conclusion:

I really like this book. I realise that might be strange, considering the negative points about the text. I can't even remember ever reading the text and I have used this book over 20 years. It's the art that makes it a 'little pearl'. It's simplicity and 'high success rate' is what I love about this book. It is suitable for all ages and for all levels of skills. If you have a child, sibling, cousin or kid-you-happen-to-know who recently (almost) outgrew the stick-figure phase, then you can give him this.
Compared to other books, I still think this is a good book. Other books seem to forget one thing: it's about the fun of drawing. Some other books even give people the impression if they don't follow 'their rules', the drawing is not good.
This book is different. It's more like: “Hey, you want to draw? Here's one way you can do it!”. It invites people to draw and while flipping the pages I once again had the urge to draw.

Rereadability:

Even though it was for a review, I still haven't read the text. Maybe one of two paragraphs. I just can't make myself to read those blocks. However, I will keep on looking at the art. Heck, I have been looking at the art for about 20 years now, so I guess that shows it's pretty rereadable.

Date: May 17th, 2012 13:36 (UTC)
moonplanet: Mildred from the Worst Witch tv series (worstwitch-drawing)
From: [personal profile] moonplanet
Maybe the text is more for a parent to read aloud to their child? The way you describe it, it sounds that way.

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