Scavenger Art by Lexi Rees (Blog Tour @rararesources)

Hello bookworm, come in, come in. Hang your coat and scarf up and warm yourself up by the fire. Just step over the books there – I recently rescued some vintage books from the 1940’s and 50’s so have been giving them a little TLC before I tuck them in safely on the bookshelves. Some of the Self-Care and Kindness books, as well as one or two Upcycling volumes, have come to oversee proceedings and I’m sure they’ll help make the unloved ones feel better in no time. I enjoy doing things like this; it helps me stay in the moment and really focus on finding the treasure inside the mundane. Which reminds me of a book one of my little bookworms and I have been enjoying this week. It’s called Scavenger Art by Lexi Rees, have you heard of it? Here, have a glass of mulled wine and a clementine spiced mince pie while I tell you all about it.

Here’s the blurb: Scavenger hunts are fun. Drawing is fun. Put them together for ★SCAVENGER ART★

This unique art-based activity book includes 52 scavenger hunts designed to

✓encourage curious minds

✓spark creativity

✓practise mindfulness

✓develop drawing skills

Perfect for ages 6 to 12.

Here’s a little about the author: Lexi Rees was born in Scotland but now lives down south. She writes action-packed adventures brim full of witch-doctors, fortune-tellers, warriors and smugglers, combining elemental magic with hints of dystopia. She also writes fun activity books for children.

Her fantasy adventure, Eternal Seas, was awarded a “loved by” badge from LoveReading4Kids. The sequel, Wild Sky, is available now.

She’s passionate about developing a love of reading and writing in children and, as well as her Creative Writing Skills workbook, she has an active programme of school visits and other events, is a Book Pen Pal for three primary schools, and runs a free online #kidsclub and newsletter which includes book recommendations and creative writing activities.

In her spare time, she’s a keen crafter and spends a considerable amount of time trying not to fall off horses or boats.

And here’s my review: Daniel and I both love anything arty but sometimes the idea of observational drawing can be a bit dry. If someone says still life drawing, I think back to painfully long art lessons in secondary school where bowls of fruit were put on each table for us to draw with our freezing fingers, trying to ignore some of the boys making jokes about the bananas and melons… Whilst Scavenger Art encourages observational drawings, it does so in a format which doesn’t feel boring or overwhelming.

The author starts off by giving the artist freedom from perfection, explaining that it’s more about the mindful activity of really seeing what’s around you rather than accuracy. The grid format also dispels any potential ‘white page syndrome’ where it can be hard to start drawing for fear of messing up the pristine white page.

The book is split into different parts and themes, which can be completed in order or dipped into a bit at a time, depending on where the artist is and what they see to draw.

Daniel told me that his drawings were a little messy because he was balancing the book on his arm as he filled in the grids, which filled me with joy as it was great to see him just go for it rather than being held back by worry about what it looked like.

The text on each page is short and friendly but not too simplistic, perfect for the target age group of 6-12 years old in my opinion. The bright illustrations also help to spark the imagination and enhance the warm, welcoming feeling as you get to know this book.

And of course, it’s not just fun for children: Daniel’s teenage sister got involved by sketching her brother’s lunch bag whilst balancing a sleeping cat in one arm, and I couldn’t resist having a go too by finding glasses to sketch.

I went for a slightly out of the box interpretation with a couple of my sketches, including the glasses I had been wearing and a glass jam jar waiting to be sterilised. But that’s the beauty of this book – it’s open to interpretation and it’s completely yours to have fun with (at least, if my son says I can!).

You can probably guess that I loved this book but I decided to ask Daniel for his rating instead…

Daniel’s review: I would give this book 4 / 5 stars because it helped me to just relax and draw. I liked that it gives you ideas of what to draw but doesn’t say what you can’t draw. It says that it doesn’t have to be perfect and I like the fact that you have to go somewhere in your house or outside to look for things to draw. I’d recommend it to my friends who like to draw.

Back to me… So there you have it – this book comes highly recommended from both Daniel and I. I think this is the ideal activity gift for Christmas and if you ask your little bookworm nicely, they may even let you enjoy Scavenger Art too!

If you like the sound of this and would like to buy a copy, just click on the book image above to go to the relevant page on Amazon. I don’t get anything for providing the link, I’m just being a helpful bookworm. A huge thank you to the author, publisher and Rachel’s Random Resources for the copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.

Well, I think it’s time to put these slightly more cheerful vintage books in their new home amongst the bookshelves. There’s a section in Scavenger Art all about books so I’ll take a pencil with me and sneak some drawings in while nobody’s looking… Farewell bookworm!

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