Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Pick up your Pen: The art of handwriting

Pick up your Pen: The art of handwriting

Monica Dengo
Novelty Book
For ages 7 and up
Owl Kids, 2012   ISBN: 978-1926973111

Not that long ago children were required to learn penmanship in school. They spent hours learning “joined writing,” slaving over tricky Gs, Qs, and other letters. Then computers came along and schools stopped teaching children penmanship. These days very few people write letters or other documents by hand, which is a shame. It is a shame because writing by hand, and using beautiful lettering, is an art form that can be a joy to create.

   In this book the author takes a familiar letterform, italic cursive, and she shows her readers how to create the letters. The loops and serifs and other embellishments that children used to have to learn are absent, but the author does encourage her readers to experiment; to take the basic forms and to add to them in creative and colorful ways

   Every letter of the alphabet has its own double page spread on which writers will find a little illustration which shows the writer how to create first the upper, and then lower, case letters. On the right hand page a few examples of how to create the letters are drawn on lined sections of the pages, which the writer can then copy many times over. On the left hand page a few whimsical versions of the letter are drawn and then the rest of the page is blank so that writer can create his or her own versions.

   Many people these days are beginning to appreciate that handwritten quotes, poems, and letters can be beautiful, and that they make wonderful gifts. This book will give young people the opportunity to discover an art form that anyone can take up and enjoy.