These are unusual books, combining art instruction with handwriting practice, and incorporating more than a little history and science instruction along the way. Based on a successful formula created by a now 75-year-old former teacher to inspire her students, these inviting books might become your child's favorite part of the school day! They are non-consumable, as your child will do the actual art work and writing on separate paper. Each book is divided into three themes (see below) with a total of 21 lessons. In the spirit of Drawing with Children, most of the lessons begin with seeing the targeted objects as basic shapes and lines. In each lesson, a colorful picture shows the author's model artwork, with neatly penned text on ruled lines underneath. Step-by-step drawing instruction for the main object in the picture is contained on the facing page. Usually, this begins with basic shape(s), then details are added a little at a time. After you introduce the subject of the lesson, your child follows these directions (with help, if needed) to reproduce the subject. Then, a similar or original background and details are added to the student's picture. After this is done, the accompanying text is copied. (Although text is shown in manuscript, you might want to have older children practice cursive.) Text is informational and in short sentences; the author believes this is more motivational and useful than forming isolated letters. It seems to me that, after carefully creating such beautiful artwork, children will be very careful to use their neatest and best writing underneath! After the handwriting is finished, your child can color the picture with crayons, colored pencils, or felt tips. Additional lesson-specific drawing tips and suggestions are offered in a Teaching Tips section at the end of the book. Some additional ideas and help for increasing art awareness or new techniques are also found at the end of each themed unit. Each lesson includes a related question to promote thinking and discussion. Answers to each are also provided at the end of each unit, along with a suggested book to read that will expand on the topic. If you incorporate this literature, each theme could become a complete unit study! We would recommend using Blank Top writing paper or My Illustrated Story Journals (the latter would be perfect if you plan to extend your study and need more writing space, since each journal could contain 12 lessons with an additional lined page for recording more information).