Activity Books for the Library


Angleberger, Tom. Art2-D2’s Guide to Folding and Doodling: 75+ Things to Fold, Draw, and Do! Amulet, 2013, 163p., $12.95, ISBN 978-1-4197-0534-2.

Because the “Origami Yoda” novels are so popular, you may already have tweens requesting the book, Art2-D2’s Guide to Folding and Doodling.  But unlike the previous books in the series, this isn’t really a novel (although it contains some story elements) – it is an activity book.  So should you purchase it for the library?

If a book is in demand, it should probably be purchased for the library even though this one will receive some wear and tear. There are two features of this book that will be problematic: the pages that instruct the reader to draw in the book, and the section of origami paper that tears out of the book.  The second problem is easy to fix: just cut the origami paper out of the book before circulating, and the book should hold up fine without it.  The instructions for the origami figures are helpful, and can be done without the paper in the book; many kids have access to origami paper or can use regular paper.

The problem of drawing in the book may be more disconcerting to library staff; it is likely these pages will be drawn on when it instructs “Try some Chewies here.”  However, the pages that instruct the reader how to draw these characters are useful. Even if the blank pages have drawings, the reader can use the instructions to draw these “Star Wars” cartoonish characters on paper at home; you don’t need the blank areas to do the drawings.  The only concern should be if someone draws something inappropriate.

The book contains four main sections: how to draw Jedi doodles, the origami instruction section, how to draw people, and a “More Fun!’ section with a variety of Origami Yoda-related games and activities. These include Pencil Podracing, and making an Origami Yoda T-shirt design. There are also a few very short stories featuring the human characters from the series, so many fans will want to read these, as well as do the activities.

Even though this will be written in, the book still has value for a library. Many borrowers will overlook the drawings done by previous readers, and focus on the areas of the book that teach how to make these amusing “Star Wars” origami figures, or how to draw these characters. It is likely to be checked out more than 20 times in a year, which comes to only 50 cents per borrower; plus, many tweens will use this in the library if you have drawing and origami paper for a passive program activity. You could also use this with a book discussion group, after reading one of Tom Angleberger’s “Origami Yoda” novels (there are three so far).   Penny Peck, SJSU SLIS

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