Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Make a Face with Ed Emberley

Make a Face with Ed Emberley

Ed Emberley
Nonfiction drawing book
For ages 5 to 8
Two Little Birds, 2014   ISBN: 978-0991293520

Drawing faces can be hard to do. No matter what we do noses refuse to look like noses, mouths all look the same, and eyes are expressionless. It can be very frustrating to create a drawing only to have all the faces somehow look wrong. Thankfully, help is at hand. Ed Emberley has come up with a wonderfully simple system to help young artists create faces. Step-by-step he shows us how to add little bits and pieces to a shape to create features.

Throughout the book, on every page, there are how-to wordless directions to show us the steps that we need to follow to create two faces, and there are two shapes that we can practice one. On the back of each page are two more shapes so that we can practice making the faces again.

For example, at the top of the first page we see how a purple square can be turned into a cat face. All we need to do is to add a large oval for a nose, two small circles for eyes, a curve for a mouth, two inverted Vs for ears and then some lines for whiskers. Five steps and the artist has a portrait of Kaspar the cat. Below, on the same page, we see how six steps turn a blue square into Monica the rather grumpy looking dog. Empty blue and purple squares sit in the middle of the page, waiting for us to try drawing Kaspar and Monica for ourselves.

There are other animals on the pages, such as a lion, a crocodile, a bear family, a monkey and a panda. There are also people of all kinds including a witch, a pirate, a vampire, a clown and a snowman.

The great thing about this book is that the pages can be removed from the book without damaging it, and the instruction sheets are duplicated so that a favorite page can be shared with a friend. At the back of the book there are pages that young artists can use to create their own works of art. Colored shapes (inside decorative frames) wait to be turned into portraits, speech bubbles wait to be filled, and bookmarks wait to be cut out and used.

This book would make a wonderful gift for a young artist who is eager to draw all kinds of interesting faces.