Do you have a child who loves drawing? Do you have a child who hates drawing? Either way, 1-2-3 Draw Wild Animals is the perfect book because it will appeal to both. In its 64 pages, step-by-step instructions show the student how to draw and color 33 different wild animals, from the anteater to the zebra. The book is targeted for elementary-aged students, but even an art-challenged adult could make professional-looking illustrations using this book!

There are two things I especially liked about this book. First, the animals in the sketches, while looking very realistic, are softened and simplified in a whimsical way, making them also look friendly and cute but not cartoonish. I think this makes the book much more fun and less intimidating for the younger and/or not-so-enthusiastic artist. Second, the final illustration for each animal is done in color, showing simple shading, blending, and texturing techniques that a child could easily duplicate using crayons or colored pencils.

Both the illustrations and written instructions are clear and simple. Overall, I like how this book takes the “tough” out of drawing animals. In many drawing books that teach how to draw animals, the sketching instructions start out simply, but then the final drawing depicts a professionally drawn animal with four-million detailed pencil strokes in slightly varying colors showing detailed fur and shading. That is intimidating to a young artist! This book is not intimidating, yet I feel the end results are just as satisfying.

The wide variety of animals in this book makes it a great resource and well worth the $8.95 price tag. As she looked through the book the first time, my 9-year-old daughter (who loves to draw) was delighted and charmed, squealing with excitement each time she turned the page. In fact, she didn’t even make it through the whole book before she had grabbed some fresh white paper and her drawing pencils and gotten started! This is a top-notch drawing book for children, and I’m delighted to have discovered it!

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