Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Artful Parent~ A Review

As an art teacher and someone who strives to make art a priority in my home, I was very excited to review this book. 

First, let me tell you a bit about the author and where this book got its start. 

Jean Van't Hul is a blogger with an obvious passion for art. Her blog has been featured in FamilyFun magazine and her writing has appeared all over the web and in some print work too. 

Her perspective on art is very refreshing. She approaches art in a friendly, child-focused way that emphasizes process and inspires the young and young at heart to let loose and invite creativity into every day. I actually love the way she approaches art and her explanations for that position.

The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family's Life With Art & Creativity is a complete overview of resources and ideas for making art available to children. This book includes information on how to select, store and use art tools. You'll also find a few recipes for making some of your own art materials at home.

The project ideas listed in the book are pretty basic and non-threatening. If you aren't naturally artistic they shouldn't scare you off since they are simple to set up and, best of all, simple to clean up.

My favorite idea in the book was a Color Journal. The purpose of this project is to encourage the artist to express feelings in a constructive way. Since colors mean different things to different people, it also opens up for some self-awareness and promotes open discussion on perspective. 

One of my children frequently struggles with his emotions and how to express them in a healthy way. I think this activity would be very beneficial for him.

I enjoyed the material in the book, but I was not as impressed with it as I expected to be.

The copy I received was in kindle format and had multiple errors in formatting. No pictures showed up, leaving several blank pages. It was difficult to navigate since the order of chapters seemed sort of random. What bothered me most was that there were absolutely no capital letters in my copy at all. I need my sentences to start with capital letters. Maybe that's picky, but it distracted me a lot.

Personally, I would rather read her blog than pay for this book in kindle format. She has a lot of great material, but I'm not sure that an Ebook is the best way to convey it all. 

If you're artistic (or striving to be), I definitely recommend stopping by her blog and gleaning what you can. Also be sure to sign up for her newsletter

The kindle version I can't in good conscience recommend, but perhaps the print copy is worth the cost. Actually, I think it would be a much better choice especially for navigation.

This book will be available April 9th, 2013. You can pre-order it on Amazon for $13.91.

I received my free pre-release copy via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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