Teaching Children To Draw: Amie is in It!


It’s finally here, the book!

At the beginning of 2008 I got an email from Marjorie Wilson. She and her husband, Brent, are the authors of the seminal Teaching Children to Draw, published in 1982. Marjorie wrote that they were putting together the second edition. She was doing research on the net when she found the YouTube video of Amie drawing the three-headed person (here). From there on she made it to this blog, where she found “Drawing as it Develops,” my record of Amie’s drawing progress. She wondered if we would let her use Amie’s example in her new Introduction.

Of course!

We emailed, I sent her scans of Amie’s drawings, and we had a wonderful phone interview. Amie picture was chosen for the front cover, and her drawing of Tigger (this one) is printed, in color, on the back flap. The new Introduction tells the story of her drawing from age 1.5 to about 3 and how a lot of what she and we did corresponds with their findings and recommendations in the book. There are stills from the video and photographs of the resulting three-headed person, of Amie’s first scribbles, of DH carrying her in the backpack, and of this collaborative drawing in my journal.

Amie doesn’t quite understand – her first reaction looking at the still of the video was: “That’s not how you hold a pencil!” But she knows how happy and proud we all are.

And for me there could be no greater confirmation of the value of this blog. All those entries on Amie’s drawing are not only a record (that I would have failed to keep so orderly and punctually in my journal), but they are also of actual use to others, for their viewing pleasure as well as for information on how children draw.

So the book is finally out – Amazon says it will only be released in February 2010 but that seems to be a mistake. If you’re interested in childrens drawings, this is the book to get: full of insightful observations, great practical advice and lots and lots of fun examples. Brain food and eye candy. And our Amie, of course.

Now can you believe that I have been keeping this under my hat for over a year?!

Join the Conversation


  1. Hi, Amie’s mom, I just wanted to direct people to the Davis website in case they wanted to purchase the book now. There’s some other good early childhood art books there as well that you might really like by Cathy Topal (based on Reggio-Emilia approach). I don’t mean to use your blog to sell anything, but I am a new mom who happens to work at Davis and an artist so it’s a subject I care about! http://www.davisart.com if anyone’s interested.
    I’m so glad you connected with Marj and Brent to make this book a success!
    Best Wishes!
    Jane McKeag

  2. Hi Jane,
    I went over to the Davis website today and was impressed with the titles. I love the Reggio-Emilia approach, so I have my eye on one or two books. Maybe I can persuade my library to buy them.
    No worries: my readers can check out your link if they want to and make up their minds themselves!

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