The bold cartooning knight is back, and she’s ready for her biggest adventure yet! She wants to travel to new and fantastic worlds—but first, she’ll have to draw them. Her horse, Edward, is no help at all; he can’t seem to draw anything but food. When the knight gets frustrated and yells at him, Edward leaves. Well, she doesn’t need him, anyway! She’ll draw her own fabulous worlds! She just has to figure out how.
Luckily, the Magical Cartooning Elf is here to help. He shows the knight some tricks for drawing worlds, like how to use a horizon line and how to show distance and scale by overlapping objects. When the Elf leaves to help other budding cartoonists, the knight starts drawing world after world: islands, cities, alien planets, and more. But each one is missing the one thing she really wants: Edward. How can she get him back?
Readers of the Adventures in Cartooning series will enjoy learning about world-building with the impetuous knight and the Magical Cartooning Elf. The Elf explains some helpful basic techniques for drawing settings, while the knight demonstrates brainstorming methods to help fill out those settings. For example: “I started jotting down all the things that make a city a city… I had to look at pictures to remind myself of everything!”
Then, of course, there’s the story. (After all, this is Adventures in Cartooning, not Instructions in Cartooning.) The tips and tricks all fit into the tale of an impatient knight realizing that even the wildest adventures aren’t much fun without her best friend.
The characters are drawn using simple shapes, and the worlds start that way, too. Beginning cartoonists may share the knight’s frustration at having to practice and learn to draw more complex elements, and will be encouraged by the book’s assurance that even simple shapes can create complex worlds—and if you start with the basics, your skills will grow as you go. Readers can enjoy this book on its own or along with others in the series, some of which cover other elements of cartooning, like drawing characters, speech bubbles, and more.
Adventures in Cartooning, Vol. 3: Create a World
By James Sturm, Andrew Arnold, Alexis Frederick-Frost
Macmillan First Second, 2023
Publisher Age Rating: 6-10
NFNT Age Recommendation: Easy Readers (5-9), Middle Grade (7-11)