Non-Fiction Netgalley

Posted May 10, 2020 by brokengeekdesigns in art, Bookreview / 0 Comments

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A Sunday 6

Book Review: Afraid of Everything by Adam Tierney

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Title: Afraid of Everything

Author: Adam Tierney

Publisher: IDW publishing

Publication Date: May 2020

Comment: I was given an ecopy by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


What kind of scared are you? Find out in these fun horror stories for young readers based on a range of phobias from Arachnophobia to Zoophobia! These tales of fear, dread, risk, and doom contain all the classic elements of horror that young fans crave, without the gore. Features 26 terrifying short stories, each based on a different A-to-Z phobia and accompanied by a unique illustration. Also includes 11 bonus stories featuring art by Temmie Chang, Mariel Cartwright, and Ko Takeuchi, plus a section detailing the origins and developments of the stories and art.


I thought that this book was brilliant and I am definitely going to be buying a copy once it is released.

Each page is separated into a letter of the alphabet and contains a fantastically gruesome drawing. So, A is for arachnophobia and there is a drawing of a girl covered in spiders along with a short, one-page horror story of that phobia.

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Item is copyrighted and only being shown as a demonstration. No infringement intended.

There were several phobias that I hadn’t heard of and hadn’t even realised existed. The stories were wonderfully gross and creepy, very much in the style of Anthony Horowitz or R.L. Stine and short enough to read one at bedtime to truly terrorise children. I loved the corresponding artwork, both Kawaii and yet horrifying. 

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Look at this gorgeous artwork!!!


Give a child this book and never sleep alone again.

Book Review: Sneaky Uses for everyday things by Cy Tymony

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Title: Sneaky Uses for everyday things

Author: Cy Tymony

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Publication Date:  2 April 2020

Comment: I was given an ecopy by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


A must-have for fans of Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things, this revised and updated edition will help you transform ordinary objects into the extraordinary! Prepare yourself for almost any situation, including 10 never-before-seen projects focused on STEM and Maker initiatives.

More than a simple do-it-yourself guide, this quirky collection uses run-of-the-mill household items and easy-to-follow instructions to build useful devices that are sure to amaze friends and family alike! A favourite reference tool for 16 years, this new revised edition is better equipped than ever as a practical tool to build useful devices and a resource guide for the next generation of makers.


Yeah. No.

Good Lord I was bored. I had hoped that this would have lots of little projects that I could do during quarantine to keep me amused and maybe learn something along the way but I was so disappointed.

For one thing, this book is so obviously US-centric. The first craft is to do with detecting counterfeit dollar bills. Very useful in the UK.

Also, the ‘ingredients’ for many of the crafts are not easy to find.

It actually says this is in the preface

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Avoids stuff not found in the average home. Right. Got that?

And yet for one of the first projects you have to have rubbing alcohol in the house. Does everyone keep spare rubbing alcohol around? Am I the only person who doesn’t? Do I have an average home?

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Why do you rub the alcohol? Or does it rub you?

How about this one?

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I don’t even know what one is, let alone know if I have one.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I am constantly running out of X-10 Universal Powerflash interface and Appliance modules.  

The illustrations are sketches but drawn without charm and to be honest the projects themselves are quite boring. I was very unimpressed and uninspired.


Get it for the neighbours’ nerdy kid. He won’t thank you.

Book Review:  The Grown-Up’s guide to Crafting with Kids by Vicki Manning

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Title: The Grown-Up’s Guide to Crafting with Kids

Author: Vicki Manning

Publisher:  Walter Foster Publishing

Publication Date: June 2020

Comment: I was given an ecopy by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


The Grown-Up’s Guide to Crafting with Kids features tactile projects that will improve kids’ fine motor and visual processing skills, in addition to strengthening their focus and memory.
The Grown-Up’s Guide to Crafting with Kids appeals to parents, caregivers, grandparents, teachers, and anyone else who wants to spend creative time with the kids in their lives. Kids will love working with adults to make crafts, which include chapters on tools and materialssourcing materials around the home and outside, and suggestions for engagement and craft-making are included as well.

With fun, colourful, and appealing artwork and projectseasy-to-follow instructions; and crafts made from accessible, affordable, and popular materialsThe Grown-Up’s Guide to Crafting with Kids will quickly become an essential book for families, preschool and elementary schools, art classes, and more.


I do not have children. However, I do work in libraries and am always looking for new ideas for crafting afternoons and activities to do there. I found this book to be a little treasure trove of different ideas and, most of them, you could do or make with items you have around the home or bought in.

From drawing on rocks you find using old nail varnish or wrapping string around sticks to make magic wands; most of the crafts you could tailor to the skill level of your child, so if you had a ten-year-old they could get just as much out of it as a four-year-old.

I also liked the little instructional boxes littered throughout and this one in particular which was a great point to remember.

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I particularly liked the section on nature walks and using found objects to craft with. You could use an entire day for this one craft.

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Image is for demonstration only. No copyright infringement.

You go for a long nature walk and pick up items to use at home, then after washing those items you use them to craft with and that’s a whole day’s activity. Wonderful.


Definitely one to keep on the shelf and to bring out for rainy days or the interminable lockdown. I’ll be buying one for the library.

Book Review: Learn to Draw (Almost) Anything in 6 Easy steps by Rick Davis

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Title: Learn to Draw (Almost) Anything in 6 Easy steps

Author: Rich Davis

Publisher: Pace Point Publishing

Publication Date: 26 May 2020

Comment: I was given an ecopy by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


In Learn to Draw (Almost) Anything in 6 Easy Steps, artist Rich Davis breaks down 100 sketches into six simple steps, showing you how to draw all sorts of fun things, from animals and flowers to robots and cars.

What can you draw in 6 steps? You can create a world of fun!

  • Send a rocket to the moon.
  • Make a robot and name it something silly like Gorgonzola.
  • Turn your dog into a cartoon character.

A fun drawing adventure for anyone interested in learning how to draw, doodle, and cartoon, Learn to Draw (Almost) Anything in 6 Easy Steps is ideal for boosting confidence in beginners. Whether you’re 5 or 95, can learn to draw!


One thing I do love to do is to sit at my computer with Netflix on in the background and to draw tiny little doodles. It’s relaxing and just eases the mid from the daily grind.

These doodle drawing books from Quarto Publishing, whether it’s Pace Point or Quarry, are just wonderful. I have one tab open with the book and one on Brooklyn 99 and I just giggle while I doodle.

This one had some lovely little vehicles to draw and plenty of fish. They were also really easy to follow and add your own little details.

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I’m using this to make a card later. Choo choo!


Yes, please Quarto Books. Keep them coming. I am loving this series.

Book Review: Life in the Stupidverse by Tom Tomorrow

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Title: Life in the Stupidverse

Author: Tom Tomorrow

Publisher: Idea and Design Works

Publication Date: June 2020

Comment: I was given an ecopy by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Welcome to the Stupidverse! Good luck finding an exit.

Relive all the trauma of the first several years of the Trump presidency through the Pulitzer-nominated cartoons of Tom Tomorrow! You’ve never laughed quietly to yourself so much at humanity’s impending doom!

It’s a hilarious but nightmarish trip down memory lane, from the Great Inaugural Crowd Size debate to the nomination of Bret (“I LIKE BEER”) Kavanaugh, from Muslim bans to concentration camps, from the Mueller report to the latest outrageous thing you just read about this morning — Tom covers it all so you can hide in bed with a blanket over your head and pray for that asteroid to finally hit the planet.

And don’t worry, readers, the show is far from over. This merry-go-round of pain goes on and on, and Tom Tomorrow will be there, er, tomorrow. At least, until Trump finds a way to have him deported.


When reality becomes more absurd than satire it really is hard to write a political comic. In fact, at several points, the truth of the matter is so surreal that Tom had to write *actual quote so we’d know it wasn’t made up.

Even though we wish it was.

The American Presidency has been such a circus that, looking back through the years’ strips, it’s hard to believe that we’ve forgotten some of this stuff- it’s old hat. I was reading it and going, “Oh wow, I forgot about that. Did people really buy that crap? How did they let that go?”

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Oh yeah, that happened. Remember him?

Tom’s accurate portrayal of the major players and the way he emphasized what both sides were thinking in such a succinct way is definitely what made him so popular. While I can’t say I enjoyed the comics, it was a real eye-opener to have the whole horrific episode laid out in such a bare way.

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Faceplant is not strong enough.

Certainly one for the political satirists and those fools who want to recall just how things went so very wrong.


If this was thrown 15 years into the past everyone would think it was a hilarious send-up.

We lived through it. We know better.

Book Review: How to draw almost everything Vol2 by Six Pommes

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Title: How to draw almost everything Vol 2

Author: Six Pommes

Publisher: Quarry Books

Publication Date: June 2020

Comment: I was given an ecopy by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


How to Draw Almost Everything Volume 2—a follow-up to the popular book How to Draw Almost Everything, part of the Almost Everything series from Quarry Books—shows how easy it is to draw even more cute illustrations.

  • Learn to draw each illustration in easy-to-follow steps. Just follow the arrows to complete each step. You’ll also find helpful tips and ideas for drawing variations.
  • Start with basic shapes, such as circles, triangles, and squares, then add special details to personalize your illustrations.
  • Draw animals, people, everyday objects, patterns and borders, and holiday and seasonal themes, along with warm-ups and special lessons.
  • An inspiration gallery offers fun ideas for adding illustrations to everyday objects or creating one-of-a-kind notes, cards, and gifts.

Each book in the Almost Everything series offers readers a fun, comprehensive, and charmingly illustrated visual directory of ideas to inspire skill-building in their creative endeavours.


I love these books from Quarto Quarry publishing. The tiny little drawings are so easy to follow and they have such a great range of things to draw. In this one, you start with animals and they show you basic shapes and how to build those shapes into the variety of animals. I love how one little change alters a cat to a lion to a cheetah and how they are all explained so simply.

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No wonder cats think they’re so impressive!

The book has a small section about materials at the start but this is tempered with exercises on drawing various lines and adding them to your work so you don’t feel like you are being patronised.

There is such a wide range of areas as well. From animals to kitchen utensils, plants and borders to vehicles and facial expressions. This is truly almost everything in one book.


On the whole this is a great book for any artist no matter the age.

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