Thursday, December 13, 2018


My son loves to scribble and sketch. In fact, he had drawings that were the only ones selected from his art class shown at a school district talent exhibition held at the city library. Ask him what he wants to do for a future career and comic book artist or cartoonist are at the top of the list. So he was really excited when some Disney and Star Wars books from the Quarto Knows LEARN TO DRAW catalog of publications arrived at our house for him to check out.


November 18, 2018 marked the 90th anniversary of Walt Disney introducing the world to the character we now know and love as Mickey Mouse. MICKEY MOUSE & FRIENDS THROUGH THE DECADES walks readers through the various iterations of Mickey that have evolved over the last 90 years ranging from Steamboat Willie to the mouse's current look. This book includes a collection of vintage artwork from the Disney archives which reveals early designs, sketches, and poses of Mickey Mouse, as well as other classic characters, such as Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck. It is interesting to see how they have changed over the decades!

MICKEY MOUSE & FRIENDS THROUGH THE DECADES also includes tutorials on how to draw classic Disney characters.  There are step-by-step instructions in categories that include contemporary looks as well as ones that highlight the characters' appearances from the 1920s, '30s & '40s eras of Walt Disney Studios cartoons and animated movies. The drawing samples in this book are simple enough that my nine year old son was able to replicate them himself yet complicated enough that the artwork people can sketch looks a notch above amateurish.

A nice touch to this book is that the tutorial imagery is printed large enough to be traceable. So if an aspiring artist isn't at a point where they can replicate the images by eye they can still learn to draw these characters by tracing them. Also the various stages of drawing each character are numbered making each step from start to finish easy to follow. In addition to providing a fun experience this book also teaches beneficial illustration fundamentals for readers to catch on to.

Beyond the LEARN TO DRAW instructions, the book is also full of galleries filled with historic pictures, facts, and trivia celebrating ninety years of Mickey Mouse and his friends.  While my son has been having a great time using this book to improve upon his drawing skills, the rest of our family has been enjoying perusing it as well appreciating the artwork inside and learning more about the history of Micky Mouse.

Recommended for kids, between the ages of 7 and 10 years old, and kids at heart MICKEY MOUSE & FRIENDS THROUGH THE DECADES has earned A Geek Daddy nod of approval for the way it has captivated my son's attention and help him improve upon his sketching which is one of his favorite hobbies. Its 128 pages of art instruction and animation history are a great way to have some fun celebrating Mickey Mouse's 90th anniversary.


This is another great book that encourages kids to draw! My son has been having a blast following instructions to sketch Star Wars characters that include Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader. This 64-page spiral bound book was written specifically so that 6 to 12 year old kids can enjoy learning to draw their favorite Star Wars characters.

In addition to giving kids the chance to sketch out their favorite Star Wars characters by themselves, this LEARN TO DRAW book also is fantastic at helping readers develop art skills. It provides three different drawing styles for kids to work with: tracing, grid-drawing and the basic shape method. Event if someone doesn't have any artistic talent, they'll still be able to have a good time drawing Star Wars characters ranging from C-3PO to Yoda.

Utilizing the included illustrations and transparent paper is an easy way for kids to recreate their favorite Star Wars characters that almost anyone can do  just by tracing with a pencil.  For those who may have a knack for drawing already, the grid method samples in the book provide a challenging activity. Duplicate the shapes drawn in each grid box and once all the boxes are filled you'll see a completed character.

The basic shapes method guides you step-by-step to create a detailed likeness of various Star Wars heroes and villains. This may seem challenging at first, but the more you do these type of drawings the better you get. Just follow the numbered steps of each drawing one after another. Each one builds upon the last until you've completed a highly detailed sketch. These have been my son's favorite activities in this Star Wars LEARN TO DRAW book. The fact that he has a bulletin board in his bed room showcasing numerous drawings replicated from this book have earned it A Geek Daddy nod of approval.

 To learn more about these and other LEARN TO DRAW books, head over to My son has gotten hours of enjoyment out of these books. So I'm sure if you have a young aspiring artist in your life, or maybe even an adult who loves to doodle, they will be delighted by these LEARN TO DRAW books available from Quarto Knows publications.

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