Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Crafty Book Review: Scratch and Draw Enchanted Animals

So, this book was totally worth it!

You know how they tell you that the only thing that has enough energy to keep up with a puppy is another puppy?

Well, the only thing that has enough patience to keep a kid entertained in the car is another kid. Will is a breed unto herself, and will only converse with you in the car when she needs to discuss what she's reading, something along the lines of, "It's annoying how Anne is so mean to Gilbert even though she clearly likes him," or "How are Buddhists different from the other religions?"

Syd, however.

Actually, I hadn't really understood this about Syd in the car. Before I took a six-hour road trip WITH her, but WITHOUT her sister, I would have told you that Syd spent her time in the car listening to audiobooks with her headphones, playing with small toys, writing and drawing and coloring, and chatting with the rest of us. Pretty typical.

But Syd in the car without her sister? With us? For six hours? With no escape?

Let's see... first, of course, we chatted, she listened to audiobooks with her headphones, she played with small toys, she wrote and drew and colored. That took up maybe half an hour.

She spent the next half an hour sing-songing the word "Alabama" in a Southern dialect, "like you, Mom!"

Thanks, Baby.

She spent another half-hour singing the following song, "If you were a cupcake what cupcake would you be?" It has no other verses. Just that one. Repeated infinitely.

And then I gave her that Scratch and Draw book, given to ME by a publicist, and for the next four hours she did this:

A post shared by Julie Finn (@craft_knife) on

You'd think she'd never seen scratch art before!

But to be fair, this scratch art is, like... fancy scratch art. With cool colorways. And facing-page sketches to inspire you, or that you can color. Syd sat back there, happy as a clam, and let Matt and I drive to Alabama with our sanity intact. Unpacking later, I found this book and peeped in, curious to see what she'd created. She had left maybe three pages in the whole book blank. Here's a sample of the rest of her work:

There are a lot of unicorns, you can be sure, but I also notice works in which Syd has noted and is trying to mimic the design aesthetic in the book, with a sleeping fawn and a fox with little embellishments on it. I also really like her first attempt at word art, trying to copy some lyrics from her favorite song, Train's "Mermaid."

When she gets that technique nailed down, I will frame all of her quotes--I LOVE fan art!

So, happy kid. Cool art. Reasonably quiet car trip.

Totally worth it! And there's still, like, three pages left to keep the first half-hour of the next car trip quiet...

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