The Art of Making Shadows by Sophie Collins

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The Art of Making Shadows by Sophie Collins

Category: Entertainment
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Louise Jones
Reviewed by Louise Jones
Summary: Create 100 shadow-creatures with this delightfully entertaining guide.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 288 Date: September 2014
Publisher: Ivy Press

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Winter is almost upon us and the evenings are getting darker. However, rather than bemoaning the lack of sunshine, how about putting a positive spin on the situation and viewing those long, dark evenings as the perfect opportunity to hone your shadow-casting skills? Shadow-play is an art form that has endured through the ages and yet still has the power to enchant and entertain. So grab a lamp, gather round and get ready to create barking dogs, flying birds and a whole menagerie of shadow characters...

I should start out by stating that this is a beautifully presented little book. It is quite small in size, a little larger than a pocket dictionary, but at 288 pages is reassuringly chunky and solid. The publishers have taken advantage of the book's format to include a quirky flip-art crocodile in the bottom corner of each page, which snaps its mouth open and shut as you thumb through the pages.

Each shadow creature has its own double-page spread, with a small write-up on the left and an image of how to create it on the right. The pictures show the correct placement of the hands and an image of how the shadow should look on the wall. The book starts with easy, single-handed shadows like birds and then gradually gets more complex with the introduction of two-handed forms and moving limbs. There is also a section about backgrounds, scenery and sound effects for shadow plays and a chapter on how to create human figures like clowns and kings.

As a family, we had a lot of fun trying to recreate the figures in the book. It may look simple, but some of them require a lot of patience and practice to master. It was a great feeling of achievement to perfect some of the trickier animals and there really is something in the book for every level of ability, the simplest figure being a shark fin, which even very young children would be able to manage.

The Art of Making Shadows is a lovely book that will appeal to young and old and works on a variety of levels. This is a slice of good old-fashioned fun and is a great exercise in creativity and imagination. Many thank to the publishers for my review copy.

For more by Sophie Collins, we recommend Tricks and Games To Teach Your Dog: How to Turn Your Much-Loved Pet into an Accomplished Performer

Buy The Art of Making Shadows by Sophie Collins at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Art of Making Shadows by Sophie Collins at

Buy The Art of Making Shadows by Sophie Collins at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Art of Making Shadows by Sophie Collins at


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