Cover Image: Draw Your Day for Kids!

Draw Your Day for Kids!

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Member Reviews

Samantha Dion Baker has a good deal of experience inspiring and empowering people to keep drawing journals or illustrated journals. Before writing “Draw Your Day for Kids!,” Samantha Dion Baker had already published several books about drawing and sketching for adults — “Draw Your Day Sketchbook: A Guided Drawing Journal,” “Draw Your Day: An Inspiring Guide to Keeping a Sketch Journal” and “Draw Your World: How to Sketch and Paint Your Remarkable Life.”  

The book begins with a thorough explanation of the materials and from there goes on to explain the whys and hows of journaling with drawings. She presents important techniques of drawing, like rule of thirds and how to use white space. The exercises are kid-friendly, like make a list of things you need on a vacation that you could draw. Baker is a fabulous artist and the book is filled with lots of eye candy to admire and inspire. There are lots of exercises and prompts to get the budding artist going. At the end of the book there are approximately 87 blank pages in order to start one’s journey of journaling with drawings.  

While the book is aimed at 8-12 year olds, it could also be used by adults.  Because of its accessibility, this book would be an excellent gift for kids who are interested in beginning their artistic journey.

Thank you to Random House Children’s Crown Books for Young Readers and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Draw Your Day for Kids! is an upbeat art journaling guide with tutorials and prompts by Samantha Dion Baker. Due out 25th Jan 2022 from Penguin Random House on their Crown Books for Young Readers imprint, it's 224 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats.

This is a comprehensively written and engaging primer aimed at young readers (~8-12 years, lexile 970) with colorful prompts and tutorials to support and develop a journaling habit. The introductory chapters include the hows and whys of setting up and developing the habit of keeping a journal and using (and improving) it. The second section includes accessible suggestions and prompts for rendering letters, objects in our immediate vicinity, feelings, and quotes.

It should be noted that the content/art/instruction parts of the book cover 137 pages of the total page count and the rest of the book (including the e-book format) are blank and are intended to be used as a personal art journal. I found the author's art very pretty and professional, and I can imagine that setting my own scribbles on the same page as hers would be moderately intimidating because I hate "ruining" pages in books and still struggle with spontaneity as an adult.

This is an informal but also appealing, accessible, and useful resource. I would recommend it to journalers, as well as in classroom settings, sketching and nature activity groups, and the like.

Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes
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While aimed for kids, this book could also be used for adults! Practical tips, instructions, and examples make the idea of keeping an art journal less intimidating. Love the variety of techniques shown and the candid examples. The illustrations are many and every one is lovely, only adding to the appeal of this book. I'll be recommending this to every kid I know!
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This book gives kids good advice on journaling, capturing the highlights of the day, and creating a personal history. I would recommend this for parents and families, as well as teachers who want to have their students do some artistic journaling.
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This is a very inspirational and informative guide to keeping a drawing day journal for kids. It has practical instruction for how to shade, draw faces and figures, etc. with the first half of the book giving instruction on basics and how to do journal pages with advice like overflow outside of the page, how to use white space, the rule of thirds, types of lettering, etc. and how to do things like record your day, draw emotions and weather, etc. It's illustrated throughout with the author's incredible journal pages. There are also a lot of exercises, like make lists of things you'd need on a vacation that you could draw and fill these 6 squares with drawings of animals, etc.

The one negative I see with it is that the author's art is so good and I can see a lot of kids (and even adults) getting frustrated at not being able to do anything near this level. She doesn't really give instruction on how to draw the things other than faces and basics like copying her apples three ways to show how different media have different effects (a really cool idea). But even I felt kind of intimidated by this book. She has things like a really detailed drawing of a camel on one page that's painted with watercolors with perfect calligraphy and amazingly realistic dogs and all this stuff that would leave me feeling over my head. I would have loved to have seen pictures of journal pages done by kids in addition, to show that those can be fantastic too and you don't have to be an amazingly accomplished artist to make wonderful journal art pages. She does mention at the very end that she grew up in a family of artists and she felt frustrated as a kid because she felt that her art wasn't good enough and that it took years of practice, but I wish she would have put that at the start of the book instead of the end and also showed us some of those pages (she said she kept her stacks of art journals) or those of other kids. This is the kids' version of an adult book she wrote and I can see this being a little less overwhelming for adults, though I love the mood and the exercises she gives. As long as the child is not a perfectionist and understands that all art is great art, I think this will be a really fun and useful book.

The last nearly 100 pages are blank, for the child to start a journal of their own.

I read a temporary digital ARC of this book for review.
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Thank you to the author and publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for honest feedback. I am impressed with the high quality of this book. The illustrations are quite lovely.  I am not an artist or art-inclined, but I have family members and young readers in my family who are. I decided to give this book a go to see if it was something that would make a potential gift. I think it is quite great! It would be a good gift or something for an art/general classroom. The book includes a few sections that would be great for a beginner, like explaining art utensils and how to draw instructions. There are drawing challenges and layouts for helping guide different drawings. Overall, a cute book.
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This would make a fantastic gift for any budding artist in the middle-grades/middle school or older!   It's an excellent combination of art lessons and journaling inspiration.  I learned more about drawing technique here than I ever did in school and it seems so much more accessible!

The illustrations and examples in the book are so lively and pleasing to look at--they're a treat in their own right.   There's a guide to supplies that explains what's available but doesn't make it seem like a child would need expensive or elaborate equipment to express themselves--pencil and paper are more than adequate!   There are also ample blank pages at the end for readers to start on their own journal right away.   I can imagine kids getting lots of inspiration from this and spending many happy hours drawing away!

Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review!
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Looking for a gift for a budding artist of any age? Samantha Dion Baker's Draw Your Day for Kids! is an excellent guide to seeing before drawing or painting. Baker provides drawing instruction and practice exercises in this workbook for older children, teenagers, and adults of any age. Baker's teaching emphasize patience and exploration and offer good, basic drawing instruction from stick figures to lettering. A complete book that can be used as a guide for art classes as well as lifelong learners.
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