Review 'Zentangle® Für Kids, Forest Animals' by Beate Winkler #Zentangle #BookReview #ActivityBook

If you are looking for the giveaway for ten J. Herbin Fountain Pens and Blue Pervenche Ink cartridges, you will find it here.

Last year Beate Winkler came out with 'Zentangle® Für Kids', a German edition hardback Zentangle activity book with a strong circus theme.  Now, ''Zentangle® Für Kids, Waldtiere (Forest Animals)', the second book in her series is out!

Front of book
As with the first book, this an activity book, with the emphasis on tangling.  It is written with children in mind, but I think it would be entertaining for almost any age group.

Back of book
For those of you who have been waiting, I'm told that Beate's first book 'Zentangle® Für Kids' will soon be out in an English version.

Look and Feel
Specs:
No. of Pages: 64
Cover: Hardcover
Binding: Sewn
Size: 22.6 x 28.1 cm. (8.9 x 11.1 in.)
Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
Language: German
Extras: Stencil

'Zentangle® Für Kids, Forest Animals' is hardcover, with good quality paper and a sturdy sewn binding, that will hold up to rough handling.  It's a bit heavy, but no more than you would expect from a hardback of it's size.

The book lies flat, so you can easily imagine a child lying on the floor, immersed in the book.   It can also be folded back for easier holding where there is less space.  It doesn't lie quite flat in this position, but could still be colored in without much trouble.



There are stencil cut-outs glued to the back inside cover of the book.  There are three ovals, 2 butterflies, and two tags.



There are 25 tangle pattern step-outs (including my own Vortex).  I don't know if any of these are new, but they are a good mix of grid-based and free-form, using a variety of shapes that will help the artist create beautiful and interesting Zentangle drawings.  They are easier patterns with a couple that offer just a bit of a challenge.

A two page activity spread follows every five tangles, prompting the artist to use what they've just learned.  The drawings are fun and sassy, and as the title suggests, full of trees and animals. There are tips and prompts within these activity pages, as well as four pages of tips and examples.   Plenty of space is left for you to draw in, but there is lots of help, so you don't get that empty page syndrome.

The step-out have very little text instruction, following in the steps of traditional Zentangle, where the steps need no words.

At the beginning of the book, there is an explanation of Zentangle, a suggestion of what is needed, how you start, and how the patterns work.  The latter part of the book has examples, shading instructions, the technique for making a paper box or basket, a glossary, suggestions for coloring, animal and tree templates, as well as links for further study.  There is a Thank You section, information about the author and Zentangle, and a complete picture index of the tangles included in the book.

The pattern step-outs:
German Name/ English Name  (any misspellings are mine, not the books)
Silverstermeer/Fire Works
Springli/ Fescu
Sterntaler/Msst
Karokästchen/Yincut
Apollo/Strircles
Murmelpott/Tipple
Rin Und Rut/Eyelet & Ribbon
Schneckchen/Printemps
Achtemal/Achtemal
Knossos/Emingle
Wimpelchen/ Rain
Blümerant/Arc Flower
Fischers Fritze/Florz
Tümpeltapse/Sez
Zicke-Zacke/Chartz
Diskbee-mi/Diskbee-mi
Pustekuchen/Nipa
KittyKatty/Yuma
Muschelschubser/Cockles/n/Mussels
TraumFänger/Fracas
Fliegflux/B-Fly
Kuschelmonster/Huggins
Wirbelwind/Vortex
Drachenschiff/Dragonair
Tri-Bee/Tri-Bee

Performance
I tested various media on the last page of the book to see how the paper would handle them.

I tested several of Sakura's Gel Ink pens, watercolor brush markers, watercolor and water-based markers*, as well as Stabilio water-based ink pens, Alcohol-based marker and colored pencil.

The paper is this book is of a good quality, but it isn't made specifically for watercolor or alcohol-based media.  You will get show-through (you can see the shadow of the color on the back of the paper) or it bleeds-through (color actually seeps through the paper to the back).


There was an illustration on the back of my test page, so ignore the black ink, please.  The red shows that the watercolor marker applied dry shows-through and used wet bleeds-through.  The water-based marker also shows-through.  Surprisingly the watercolor doesn't do either, but this might vary according to the amount of water used.  The alcohol marker bleeds through, which was only to be expected.

It doesn't show on the scanner but the water-based ink pens show-through very slightly.

This is pretty standard for a book of this kind, and isn't a reflection of the quality.  Paper made for watercolor media is specially made and expensive, so most books don't have it to keep the price down.

Examples
For my examples, I did the first two-page activity spread.  Because the book is so large, I had to photograph them, so please forgive the quality.  

On one of the activity pages there was a box with pre-drawn sections for adding patterns.  As prompted, I did the first five patterns from the book -   Silverstermeer/Fire Works; Springli/ Fescu; Sterntaler/Msst; Karokästchen/Yincut; Apollo/Strircles.  I used my new Cuttlelola Electric Dotspen, which has gel ink in it, because it is so cool.  In essence, this whole piece was drawn with nothing but dots.



On the other side of the page, I used several mediums.  I wanted to explore watercolor more thoroughly, so the woodpecker and tree are done using Koi cake watercolors.   The middle section was colored with gel-ink pens (the orange is all sparkly, but of course the scanne doesn't show it).  The background pattern was drawn with a Pigma Micron pen and colored in with colored pencils.

There was no show-through or bleed-through with any of the mediums.  The paper did wrinkle just a little, where I used watercolor, but after being closed overnight, most of it has disappeared.  The gel ink went down smoothly with no skipping and the color is nice and bright.  I used four layers of colored pencil with no waxy build-up (this may vary according to the brand of pencil), and managed to get a nice blend of colors.  The scanner didn't quite pick up all the color though, so this photo doesn't show that.



Overall
This is a well-made and appealing book.  The content is fairly standard, so it will be of the most interest to the beginner, or those who have bought the first book, and want more of the same.  . 

It's a book that a child might well keep, and value later in life.  An adult would probably enjoy the activities and artwork well enough, and might like the idea of having these tangles available in a hard-back durable book.

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