Children’s Book of the Week: Make a World

Ed Emberley’s Make a World by Ed Emberley

This book might be Henry’s most essential book, his desert island book. Sometime last year (I think it was when we were doing a massive decluttering/rearranging of space in anticipation of Zuzu’s birth), I ran across my childhood copy of this book, and I knew Henry would love it. His adoration was immediate and fierce. He may, in fact, be addicted to this book, because if he can’t find it he starts to panic and his breathing becomes rapid and shallow and he looks around wild eyed, saying, “Where’s Make a World? I can’t find it!” and starts flinging things hither and thon.

The book is pretty much what it says: it gives you all the skills you need to make a world, that is, to draw almost anything you might want to draw, from furniture to animals to vehicles and people and flags. I suppose you could make the argument that it shows kids too much by showing them a particular way to draw, but I know it has opened up legions of drawing possibilities for Henry. At first he definitely did draw things just as the book showed him, but now he uses it much more the way it was intended. He’ll draw, say, a castle as shown in the book, and then add all manner of Henry embellishments. I’d recommend this book just from a parental standpoint, for the amount of time it has given me while Henry is deeply absorbed in drawing a world. But I mostly have to recommend this from a kid standpoint as well, seeing how Henry deeply, deeply, loves and needs this book.

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