Oodles of Doodles to Make

>Over the following week, I’m going to follow the theme of Doodles or ‘playful’ drawing. Today, I’m going to do a review of the Doodle Cards produced by Usborne, which I purchased over Christmas. They are part of a wider trend over the last few years which has seen a number of children’s books brought out where you are invited to complete a picture, in fact when I started researching this, I was astonished at how many there are, with new titles coming out all the time.  I bought ‘The Boys’ Doodle Book’ for my son, (there is of course also The Girls’ Doodle Book ) by Andrew Pinder (Buster Books) but there are lots of others on a range of different themes, including The Art Doodle Book (suitable for older children, as you are invited to complete doodles ‘in the style of’ some of the great masters’). There are even grown-up versions such as:

I think these are a terrific idea, much more creative than simple colouring books, in that they encourage children (or adults) to use their imagination and practice their drawing skills in a fun and entertaining way. They are not really suitable for the youngest children, but once they start to get more confident with their drawing (perhaps around school age, but it probably varies a little from child to child) they’re ideal. Having said all that, Fisher Price are introducing ‘My First Doodle Book’ in August this year, which presumably is aimed at younger children.

Anyway, Usborne have produced their own version of these as part of their Activity Cards series. Instead of a book, Usborne’s version is in the form of a range of Doodle Cards on different themes. There are currently 5 different themes, each containing 50 cards of around postcard size, which are presented in a box rather like a pack of playing cards. This makes them ideal for putting in a handbag for ’emergency’ use. Unlike many of the books (which I suppose invite you to colour them in as well as drawing) they are colourful and have a wipe clean surface so the cards can be used again and again. Unfortunately the pen that came with my box didn’t work, so I had to go out and buy a set of dry wipe pens, but at least that meant there were then a range of colours to use. The themes currently available are: Monster Doodles, Holiday Doodles, Animal Doodles, Travel Doodles, and Christmas Doodles and they sell for around £5.00.

My verdict on these is that they are yet another great idea from Usborne, that my children enjoy using, and which I can carry around easily while travelling. I suppose my only (slight) critiscism is that their small size does inhibit the creativity somewhat, but then I suppose that’s a trade off against them being conveniently handbag sized.

This is my first ‘book’ review post. I suspect it won’t be my last as I find that I quite enjoy the excuse to browse Amazon (do I really need an excuse?) researching them – though I do find that the temptation to buy books while doing so is very strong. Amazon are clever at suggesting other books you might be interested in, so I have a very long wish list now!