The Drawing Lesson by Mark Crilley Review

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Goodreads Synopsis: An instructional art book in narrative graphic novel form that uses the tale of one aspiring young artist and his reluctant mentor to impart easy-to-follow lessons on the fundamentals of drawing.

With over 10 million views and growing, Mark Crilley’s YouTube drawing instruction videos have an enormous worldwide legion of fans and have been featured on sites such as Yahoo News and Reddit. In addition, Crilley is an accomplished graphic novelist. Now for the first time, he pairs both strengths resulting in a one-of-a-kind art instruction experience. Through the story of aspiring, overeager young artist-in-the-making David and his helpful, but often flustered mentor, Becky, readers gain a grounding in the basics of drawing and rendering, along with a helping of laughs and poignant entertainment. Each lesson builds off the previous, with sidebars at the end of each chapter that direct readers to tackle some of the very same drawing exercises that David has just completed. The sequential art format provides the perfect vehicle for these step-by-step lessons, and the Pixar-esque approach to the surrounding characters and story ensures an enjoyable experience that readers will want to revisit again and again.

My Thoughts: I am not always a fan of graphic novels but this one sounded intriguing to me. I have never been good at drawing…I often draw pictures for my students to cut out at work and they are quick to point this out to me 😉  I have always wished that I could draw well but had come to the conclusion that it was something you were either good at or you weren’t. After reading this book I realized that there are some important things to know to help you be a better artist.

The lessons in this book are taught in a very fun way…the reader is learning along with David, the young boy in the book who wants to learn how to draw. He meets a woman named Becky who, reluctantly at first, teaches him some important things about being a good artist.

The story is very informative but also very touching and humorous. The artwork is gorgeous, presented in sepia tones.

Overall, this is a great book for all ages…my 10 year old daughter and I read it together and we both enjoyed it. I definitely recommend it to anyone who would like to get past drawing stick figures (like me).

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki Review

summerGenre: Graphic Novel, Young Adult

Plot According to Goodreads: Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It’s their getaway, their refuge. Rosie’s friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose’s mom and dad won’t stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It’s a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it’s a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.

My Thoughts: I am fairly new to graphic novels and I’m guessing that this review will reflect that. This is the story of Rose, whose family goes to the same beach town for vacation each summer. She and her friend Windy spend the summer together, experiencing many ups and downs. Based on the cover, I expected a cute coming of age story directed at ages 10-16…my expectations were not accurate. I was surprised (and a bit disappointed) by the graphic sexual content and language in this book. My personal opinion is that books like this should have some kind of rating sticker on the cover to caution parents of the content inside. The cover of the book looks very middle-grade to me, which is why I was surprised by the story, which is definitely directed more to older teens but features girls that seem to be around 12 years old. Overall, I really enjoyed the story…it mixed the innocence of youth with the grittiness and reality of adulthood. The artwork was amazing, definitely one of my favorite things about this book. I loved the characters but I didn’t feel connected to them. There were parts of the story that felt a bit rushed and not quite sorted out completely.

Overall, this was a good story but I wish the cover wasn’t made in a way that draws in an audience that is too young to be exposed to the content inside.

My rating: 3/5 stars.