HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Learn to Draw with Chappy the ChipMonk: Medieval Fantasy
Author and Illustrator: Michael Gugliotto
Publisher: Independently published, 2020
Related website(s): http://www.chappythechipmonk.com/ (book)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 8-12
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Category: Youth non-fiction
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Gugliotto, Michael. Learn to Draw with Chappy the ChipMonk: Medieval Fantasy (Published independently in 2020 by Michael Gugliotto). Knights, castles, dragons, swords, wizards, princesses, kings, and even ogres—children can learn how to draw all these things with Chappy the ChipMonk, a lovable cartoon character who is not only a chipmunk but a monk as well, hence the spelling of the name “ChipMonk.” He loves to draw and wants to teach everyone how to draw too. The book is packed with easy to follow step-by-step instructions and useful drawing tips along with thoughtful insights and values. Its unique process, focusing on the artistic development stages of children, will build drawing skills and confidence. And young people today will find the “Medieval Fantasy” theme most appealing.
Learning to Draw with Chappy the ChipMonk was written from many years of experience by the author as an artist and art teacher. Michael Gugliotto was drawing at the early age of six and remembers drawing an exact likeness of many cartoon characters such as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. Later when he was a teenager, his mother sent him to a private art teacher Robert Hoffman, an old master portrait painter. Michael then attended Munson Williams Proctor Art Institute where he received both a masters degree in printmaking, and a degree in art education. He has worked as a certified art teacher in the New York Public School System.
Now, I am the last person anyone should want to evaluate a book on learning how to draw. I can’t even make good stick figures. But it is important to include art in a child’s curriculum, whether in public, private, or home school—and it may be especially difficult for homeschooling families, so a book like this could be very useful in a homeschool setting. We understand that nothing can be done overnight, but as youngsters frequently practice their skills for drawing, they will gradually improve and their obstacles will diminish. By following the activities in this book, students will receive the valuable tools necessary for their artistic talent to flourish, and perhaps they may even learn to overcome some difficulties in life along the way too.