I was shopping for a book that would be a good introduction to calligraphy for my 6th-grade son. I was shopping in a brick-and-mortar store, not one of them fancy virtual stores, because I wanted to look into the books and flip through the pages. Plus, I like bookstores and if I don’t keep shopping at them they might go out of business. So I make it a point to buy from them.
I made my way back to the Arts & Crafts section and found the shelf with calligraphy books. I looked at all five of them that had to do with learning calligraphy, and here are my reviews:
|Calligraphy: A Complete Guide
by Julien Chazal
This bills itself as a complete guide, which is more than what I was looking for. It did have introductory stuff, but it also had you carving stones and making your own pens and stuff.
|Calligraphy Bible: A Complete Guide to More Than 100 Essential Projects and Techniques
by Maryanne Grebenstein
I didn’t actually read any of the words in this book. I started by flipping through a number of the pages, and all I could notice was how pixelated all the photos were. It was very distracting. It might be acceptable if this were a 6th grader making his own webpage on Geocities, but not a book for which I’d be paying money.
|Modern Calligraphy: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in Script Calligraphy
by Molly Suber Thorpe
This was half calligraphy and half how to make wedding invitations. Not the best option for a young boy.
|The Calligrapher’s Bible: 100 Complete Alphabets and How to Draw Them
by David Harris
Too many styles and not enough explanation. If you’re starting something, you don’t want to be thrown one hundred new things. It would be overwhelming. But once you’ve gotten started with an introductory book, this would probably be a good next book.
|Complete Calligraphy Skills
by Vivien Lunniss
This book did not have many styles (only 20, compared to the 40 or 100 in the other books), but it had a lot of how-to plus interesting explanations of the backgrounds of the writing styles. I thought it was a good balance for a starting book. Not too much to overwhelm, but enough to start and make progress.
As you may be able to tell, Complete Calligraphy Skills was my favorite book for the situation. I give it 4 stars. If it wants 5 stars, it needs to have a spiral binding so that it stays open by itself.
You shall write on the stones all the words of this law very distinctly.