Monday, August 24, 2009

Review of the Barnes & Noble Wacky Birds Colored Pencil Block in Acetate Box Set of 13

On a recent trip to a Barnes & Noble bookstore, I found this neat set of colored pencils.
Their original block pencil set presentation resembles a pencil "sandwich" before it is cut into individual pencils, so it could easily be used as a visual aid when explaining to kids how pencils are made.
Despite their natural interest in coloring and drawing activities, younger kids might grow bored with the limitations of the same old materials (mostly crayons) available to them for their artistic pursuits. To keep them motivated, it is a good idea to introduce new drawing and coloring tools from time to time.

Both of my pre-school age nieces enjoyed folding and rolling the flexible pencil block set while the 12 colored pencils were still attached to each other. The oldest one quickly pointed out that this colored pencil set was"clearly" designed for kids and shrewdly talked me into letting her take them home after promising that she would share them with her little sister.
The rectangular profile of each pencil is rather unique and comfortable enough for doodling with the added advantage that they won't roll off an inclined drawing surface.
The pencils can be easily sharpened with standard sharpeners.
Freshly sharpened set. Top side of the pencil block features the picture of whimsical birds while the bottom and sides are painted white.Since each colored pencil is decorated only one one side, they can also function as an easily solvable puzzle by memorizing the color sequence of the set.
For an inexpensive gift set, these Wacky Birds Colored Pencils laid down fairly bright colors on the white card stock. After completing this color chart, I used a few colors on the apple sketch as an example for Nicole that she could use more than the red pencil to render the apple surface. Thus, she promptly sketched the falling apple with the red, orange, green, and purple pencils underneath and even saved some white to convey its reflective surface. These 13 pencils make for a nice portable sketching gift set.

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