Halloween Countdown 2017: Book Review of Ed Emberly’s BIG ORANGE DRAWING BOOK!

Friends, I have something SO special to share with you.

When I was a young and of course very odd little kid,I loved drawing as much as I do now, and I would devour with my eyes any books about drawing that I could get my hands on. And books such as those by Ed Emberly, one of my artistic heroes, were some of the best. Through drawing simple shapes and lines, Mr. Emberly taught us kids to really have fun, use our imaginations and explore once we had mastered the basics of his adorable little drawings. Some of these books featured things that were all one color, such as the Big Green Drawing Book, the Big Red Drawing Book, the Big Purple Drawing Book, and my favorite, the Big Orange Drawing Book.

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The Big Orange Drawing Book shows you how to draw a lot of orange animals, such as tigers and foxes,characters made out of oranges(yes, the fruit!), and–best of all—Halloween characters.

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Halloween Countdown 2017: Halloween 123 Children’s Book!

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A few Halloweens ago, I was at one of my favorite flea markets–Queen of Hearts in Buford, and in my favorite booth, called “Down the Rabbit Hole”, I found this book. This dealer always finds great vintage books and toys and even if  this isn’t that old, it has a lovely vintage feel with the quality of the illustrations.

 

The book is loaded with  sweet black kitties!

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Book Review: Ghost Tales of the Uwharries!

 

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This book terrifies me to this day. I used to check it out of our library when I was a kid in the late 70s and early 80s (nobody really monitored what kind of books I was getting each trip) and I firmly believe it still holds up.
The Uwharries (pronounced “uw-har-ees”),named by the Native Americans that originally lived there,are a mountain range that once towered 20,000 feet but now only rise a little over 1,000 feet and cover an area of about 50 miles through North Carolina, sort of in the Charlotte area. The African Americans, Germans and Scotch-Irish folk who populated these mountains left a rich oral tradition that author  Fred T. Morgan has taken a fine sample from for this book.
Ghost Tales of the Uwharries features twenty tales; some unsettling, some terrifying, and a few are just plain funny. One, called “The Phantom Family of Five”, is a touching story of a man’s love for his long-dead family and truly jerks at the heartstrings. A particularly violent one is “The Hatchet-Swinging Fire”.

 

 

 

 

The book is made even more frightening by its illustrations; a series of blunt, choppy woodcuts that get to the heart of the subject matter and do not go into fine detail. They have hovered in my mind for years, sometimes just popping up at the edge of my consciousness when I’m half-awake.

If you’re a stickler for scary tales handed down for generations, this book is a great choice, especially for Halloween. Read them out loud to friends and family on a chilly fall night, and if you’re good at southern dialects you’ll make them sound even more authentic.

 

30-Day Dinosaur Challenge: Favorite Theropod!

Oh, for heaven’s sake, could there be an easier answer for me?

I have several art challenges going at once…when I feel like doing one, I pick up that sketchbook, and I may not go back to it for a few days. I go at my own pace.

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(Here is a quick lesson on theropods.)

The general public not being total dinosaur nerds like me,I suppose most of the general public learned what a carnotaurus was once the Disney movie Dinosaur came out. I am happy to say I was made aware of it much earlier, back in the early 90’s, when I was in college. I found a bookstore downtown at my school that had some discounted book out front and found this great kid’s book called A Gallery of Dinosaurs and Other Early Reptiles, by David Peters. It is still one of my favorite dino books because every dinosaur or other reptile in it is pictured in a group of its peers, to scale. And with kids included so you can see, if you’re a kid, how you compare with the giants..or the shrimps! Anyway, this was my first look at Carnotaurus.

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Holy smokes, what a horror of a face.

 

I instantly loved it.