Tuesday, January 19, 2010

paper for everyone.

We started a new manga fan group for middle school students. Our first meeting was last night and it's going to be a big hit! We had 7 kids, which is great for (a) our first meeting, and (b) our local population. I'm working on getting some origami done this week-- origami is a part of our program for next month and I need some good instructions to work from. Here's what I found in our library: Super Quick Origami Animals, by Nick Robinson. Poo! The instructions in this book are really poor. I had the hardest time with the transitions: I could follow the steps alright, but then the demonstration would turn the paper over or do some other morph without describing what to do, and I couldn't figure it out. I tried 2 animals from this book and just couldn't do it. They maybe super quick, but easy or well-explained they are not. Origami Adventures: Animals, by Nick Robinson. How can one person make 2 so-very-different books on the same topic? This book is from the children's section, so I guess that accounts for part of it, but I'm still shocked that these books have the same author. The pictures are much easier to follow in this book, and every step is explained, even when to just flip the paper over (a big help). I tried making the same animals I tried from the first book, and was able to get them without any problems at all. A big bonus for this book is that each animal has an introduction and a few fun facts, so it would be great for young animal fans. A note: in the back are tear-out pages with patterns and designs, so that (if you use the right one with the right instructions) your origami animal will look more like the real thing. I think they look a little bit creepy, actually. There's one set of full-color tear-out pages, and one set of black-and-white pages; I'm not sure why there aren't just 2 sets of full-color ones, but whatevs. I'll be using this book with my program. Origami Monsters: Fang-tastic paper folding for kids, by Steve and Megumi Biddle. The pieces in this book are actually really cool, but they were a little bit harder than I anticipated: there were a lot of reverse folds and inversions and stuff; although they were pretty well-explained and -demonstrated, they were just difficult to manipulate. I made one of the pieces from this book, and the rest of the examples look like everything in here would suffer from the same problem: everything is folded every which way so many times that it becomes clumsy and difficult to fold properly. My animal looks messy as a result. But I think the kids would be excited about the shapes, and less likely to be critical of their work because it's cool. I don't frequently use actual origami paper, but since I'm just using regular scratch printer paper, that is likely part of the problem. Making Origami Science Experiments Step by Step, by Michael G. LaFosse. There is a whole set of these; the series title is A Kids Guide to Origami and we have bunches; I'm just looking at this one. The steps are easy to follow and the diagrams are good. None of the shapes have more than 8 steps. I need to remember this one because it has a boat in it, which I've been looking for. Origami 1-2-3, by David Petty. Everything in here is really pretty, and really complex. It makes me nervous just looking at the pictures. Skip! Totally Cool Origami Animals, by Ann Kristen Krier. A (very) few of the animals in here really are totally cool, and they almost make it worth buying the whole book. Unfortunately, most of the "animals" require a lot of imagination to see. Origami A-B-C, by David Petty. There is a range of projects in this book. The descriptions leave a little bit to be desired, but I was able to make the frog just by following the photos, which are really good. I'll keep this on the list to use. The Art and Wonder of Origami, by Kunihiko Kasahara. I'm not sold on the instructions in this book. There is a CD that supposedly features "live demonstrations" but I didn't check it out. These instructions certainly aren't for beginners.

1 comment:

Ms. Yingling said...

So many of my origami books have fallen apart that I need new ones, so thanks for the list. And you are right that people should read about lives other than their own, but what I really want is a book about a middle aged teacher who becomes an international spy! I'll have to go reread Mrs. Pollifax, I suppose! Keep up the good work-- there will always be problems, and we just need to do the best we can!