Activity books are fun, and retro ones can be even more enjoyable for many reasons.
First: They can bring us back to a “simpler” time where educational things can be enjoyable. The whole learn the lesson while having fun idea.
Second: They can show a different perspective or provide a different manner of teaching.
Third: They can be cheesy and nostalgic.
That being said today I am reviewing a book called The Young Architect by Buki Ltd. This book was part of the “Draw-a-Line” series. Intended for ages 5 to 11, it was first published in 1974 and still being printed in 2005.
The concept behind it is fairly simple. Teach children how to design buildings. This is done by offering a series of simplistic seeming drawings, each on a single page, with a space for the child to draw it. Included is a plastic “shape maker” which will allow the younger children the chance to trace the shapes instead of free handing. There are also a few pages of backgrounds so that the children can see how the design will fit in each setting.
For someone who wants to learn to draw, this is a good book to start. While the results will be somewhat cartoonish, it does help the child learn to see the shapes that can make a design.
Now most used copies are missing pages or the shapemaker, but that doesn’t lessen the appeal.
After all there is a reason this book has been in print for so long.
Personally I will say that this book should be geared more towards ages 3-7, but even eleven year old’s should be able to garner some enjoyment from it.