Posts tagged ‘how-to books’

CONNECTING THE DOTS

Drawing for Beginners: From Dot to Drawing Shapes and Forms

Written by Renee B. Williams

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This author has a passion for explaining how to do things, and she displays a definite talent in this area. Adults who have always wanted to learn how to draw or those interested in helping children learn will find value in this book. The step by step approach laid out in the Table of Contents sets the tone for this book of approximately fifty pages.

Williams tells her readers that drawing begins with a dot, then connecting the dots and proceeding to lines. She encourages us to surprise ourselves by allowing ourselves to scribble. Later we can train our eyes to see shapes in the objects around us. I found the section on artist tools helpful. Williams explains the need for an artistic pencil, erasers, sharpeners and the importance of using drawing paper with the proper weight. She cautions the budding artist not to draw from memory, train your eyes and always keep a drawing pad near you. The section on mistakes to avoid includes not throwing away your drawings and not to be afraid of darker values or outlines. As you become more proficient you can learn more about three dimensional forms as well as light and shadows. Drawing can be a fun activity; you do not need to possess great talent. It is a wonderful way to connect to the world and release your frustrations.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in learning to draw or to understand the basic elements of drawing Children ages ten and up should be able to handle the text independently or the book can be used as a joint adult and child teaching tool.

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BABYSITTER BASICS

How To Baby-sit (Survival Skills)

Written by Joy Berry

Illustrated by Bartholomew

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Joy Berry has written many books on behavior; this one does exactly what the title says. The manual includes everything a parent, child or prospective babysitter needs to know. Berry covers how to mentally prepare, search for a position, set up the home, deal with misbehavior and practice consideration for the child and family for which you are providing babysitting services.

There are six steps anyone needs to ponder if thinking about a babysitting job. A prospective applicant needs to do the following: 1) get permission from his parents to babysit for other people’s children, 2) learn everything possible about child care and first aid, 3) get first-hand experience and on-the-job training before beginning, 4) decide how much to charge for services, 5) find parents who might need a baby-sitter and let them know that you are available, and 6) gather items for a “Babysitter Survival Kit.” These include supplies for an emergency in the home, pen and paper, playing cards, crayons, stickers, books, a ball, an old sheet for pretend play, and paper stacking cups. All these supplies need to be age appropriate for the child.

Preparation does not end here. Once a job is accepted the baby sitter must prepare by visiting the family and child ahead of time, taking notes, and building a rapport with the child. The sitter must know how to deal with misbehavior and comfort a child, practice safety for self and the child while in the home, and inspect toys to make sure that they are safe. Berry’s cardinal rule is to treat the child the way you would like to be treated. She gives detailed instructions exactly how to do everything that has been outlined above.

I cannot think of anything that has not been covered in this guide. It is a must for any child contemplating babysitting as well as the parents of the sitter and prospective employers. While much of this book is common sense, Berry’s ability to pull things together concisely and clearly is unparalleled. The cartoon illustrations are well done adding to the appeal and effectiveness of the book. Highly recommended and appropriate for children age eight and above. Book is available in hard cover, paperback and kindle formats.

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