05/22/14 By Beth Bauer
Talk about animal magnetism: My daughter got her hands on Watch Me Draw: The Zoo and wouldn't let it leave her grasp. She ran off to her room, rounded up a few zoo friends of her own, and immediately sat down to explore the book.
First, she read the story of Keely the toucan, a helpful bird who promises to wake up all the other zoo animals early on opening day so they will be ready to greet the visitors. "Who knew toucans were so nice?" she marvelled. "I thought they just squawked a lot." (I won't give away the story's ending, but it's a cute one!)
Next, it was time to practice drawing Keely the toucan with a little help from her friends. The simple step by step instructions and vivid imagery made it fun and easy for her to learn.
Photo by Beth Bauer
Gigi the giraffe caught her eye next. And, I love how she took creative license to liven up Gigi's coat with a nice shade of purple. "It can look any way I want it to, Mom!" she explained. Spoken like a true artist.
Photo by Beth Bauer
Another clever aspect about the book is a sheet of reward stickers. Each page of the story has an outlined place for a sticker that will complete the scene. When your child finishes a drawing, suggest that he or she select the "reward sticker" from the center of the book and match it to the corresponding story page. A great way to keep track of how far they've progressed in the book and give them a sense of accomplishment, too!
Your child will love taking a walk on the wild side with Watch Me Draw: The Zoo. The only downside for parents? Trying to explain that purple giraffes don't really live there. But I guess that comes with the territory when you're raising a budding artist with a vivid imagination.
Beth is a freelance writer residing in Fishers, Indiana with a background in print journalism. Her full time job as a stay at home mom allows her to explore the beauty of art and life through her two young daughters' eyes—one finger painting at a time.
Encourage your children to color OUTSIDE the lines.
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