Monday, January 3, 2011

1 2 3 I Can Sculpt!

No, actually, I can't. I took plenty of art classes in college, and sculpture was the only one I dropped--after the first class. I looked at the blob I had fashioned from clay and then at the work of the other students. Bye-bye sculpture class.

I might not have given up so easily if, years earlier, I had started off with a book like 1 2 3 I Can Sculpt! The seven animal projects have tons of kid appeal and practically beg to be made. Each one focuses on a different aspect of sculpture. The first is a toothy alligator put together from egg cartons. A sea lion is fashioned by stuffing a paper bag with scraps of fabric, turning a flat object into a 3-dimensional one. A snake made from aluminum foil and clay demonstrates how a sculpture's armature helps it keep its shape. A flock of clay birds gives kids practice in rolling, pressing, pinching, and poking. A cotton-ball lamb illustrates texture, and a leggy giraffe shows kids the importance of balance. For the final project kids incorporate all they have learned to make an impressive dinosaur.

The instructions are clearly written and easy enough for most second graders to do on their own. Younger children would benefit from an adult's supervision. The materials needed to complete each project are ones that are found around the house (egg cartons, aluminum foil, buttons) or easily purchased (modeling clay, pipe cleaners, glue). A list of materials for all seven projects appears at the beginning of the book, but not for an individual project. Before starting a sculpture, a child has to scan the instructions to find what he or she needs. A short list of materials for each project would be a time saver. That's my only quibble in an otherwise outstanding art book for beginning readers. Other books in the Starting Art series by Irene Luxbacher include: I Can Build, I Can Collage, I Can Draw, I Can Make Prints, and I Can Paint.

1 2 3 I Can Sculpt!
by Irene Luxbacher
Kids Can Press, 24 pages
Published: 2007

This week's Nonfiction Monday is at Charlotte's Library.

1 comment:

  1. I am definitely putting this one on my list. My son loves art, and this sounds like a great book to get him started sculpting.