Summer is great for so many reasons, not the least of which are road trips, camping and cottage vacations. Whether you're chilling in the passenger seat of the car, hanging out on the dock in a Muskoka chair or kicking back poolside, you'll want to take along some books.
These fab creative books from Quarto are perfect not only for occupying free time, but also for bringing out your inner artist. Not to mention the fact that they are useful for keeping kids busy in the car or on a rainy day! In this post, I'm sharing a selection of creative books that suit the interests and ages of my family members, but I really think that all of these books work well for a range of ages and for any sex.
For myself, I picked out The Illustrated Emily Dickinson Nature Sketchbook: A Poetry-Inspired Drawing Journal. One, I like poetry. Two, I believe in the restorative powers of nature. Three, this book is just so darn pretty!
The Illustrated Emily Dickinson Nature Sketchbook has full-color illustrations, partial drawings and small sketches based on Dickinson's poems. Fifty of her poems are included, encouraging us to draw, colour and sketch based on our responses to the verse or simply our own reflections.
The lovely illustrations are by Tara Lilly. I think this image of Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) surrounded by flowers is so beautiful and I love the dedication: For kindred and poetic souls who are also under nature's spell.
My husband is a fan of the British street artist Banksy, so I thought he would also enjoy Street Notes-New York Artwork by AVone. This hardcover notebook has 144 lined pages, perfect for jotting down thoughts, quotes, ideas and lyrics. The cover features images from Brooklyn street artist AVone, who is inspired by abstract expressionism and New York City's urban landscape,
I also picked out Street Notes-New York: Set of three 48-page lined notebooks. These are thin, paper-covered lined notebooks, great for people who like to jot down thoughts or doodle on a few different subjects. They are lightweight so they are useful for tucking into a knapsack or purse. Like the hardcover journal, these notebooks have stunning covers featuring AVone's starkly beautiful images of New York.
I don't want to appear to gender stereotype with my next choices, but one of the future career possibilities my daughter has shown interest in is fashion design. So, 20 Ways to Draw a Dress and 44 Other Fabulous Fashions and Accessories: A Sketchbook for Artists, Designers, and Doodlers is a lot of fun for her (and good practice too!).
This sketchbook is one of the 20 Ways series, designed to offer art and design enthusiasts some fun illustrating possibilities. In 20 Ways to Draw a Dress, there are actually 45 themes, from dresses (duh!) to summery hats and stylish shoes. There is, of course, blank space for you to draw your images and replicate the images on the facing pages. You can also colour in both your own images and the existing illustrations. The wardrobe pieces are deliberately simplified, showing you how simple shapes and forms are the building blocks of any item that you want to draw.
I just think this next pick (for my son) is really cool! I kind of want to keep it for myself. Create Your Own Stick World Kit includes a technique book, markers, pencils, coloured pencils, an eraser and a sketchbook, so you have all you need to create amazing stick figure illustrated stories.
The instruction guide is eye-opening. I had no idea you could do so much with stick figures! As it says in the intro, "It's not how many lines you draw, it's how you draw them that counts." This kit is about self-expression, artistry and, best of all, fun. Says the intro, "A Stick Figure Master invites laughter as a positive sign that the art is doing its job. Art doesn't always need to be so serious." There are tips for choosing a body type, drawing hair and creating body language and emotions. This would be a unique birthday gift for a child or adult.
All of these gorgeous creative books for the family will surely be packed in our activity bags as we head out on our road trips this summer. What kind of books will you pack?
*I received books for review purposes. This post contains affiliate links.