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Marge Lightfoot
Toronto, Greey de Pencier Books, 1993.54pp, paper, $9.95
ISBN 0-920775-84-5. CIP

Grades 2 to 4/Ages 7 to 9

Reviewed by Pat Butler.

Volume 21 Number 4
1993 September

Few things have as much appeal for children as cartoons. Ironically, few things are so difficult to teach. For one thing, cartoons are intensely idiosyncratic; for another, they owe as much, if not more, to a rich vocabulary as they do to a well-drawn line, Unfortunately, not many children possess the language skills that inform most cartoons.

Nonetheless, brave attempts to address the subject deserve congratulation. Cartooning for Kids is a very brave attempt. Marge Lightfoot is a professional cartoonist who shares a number of practical drawing and layout techniques in a graphically arresting format. Her book is well organized, clear and lively. The sections on movement and texture are particularly informative. Extensions such as flipbooks, greeting cards and posters encourage students to move beyond conventional cartoon boundaries.

Not surprisingly, what is not addressed is what makes cartoons what they are the source, and the presentation, of comic ideas. I am not at all sure that it is possible to illustrate such elusive matters. For children who have some affinity for the comic, Cartooning for Kids will supply some valuable drawing instructions. Which is reason enough to be grateful.

J.E. Simpson is retired supervisor of art for Edmonton public schools in Edmonton, Alberta.
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