Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Origami Animal Friends, by Mari Ono. Review.

Fold 35 of your favourite cat, dogs, rabbits, and more
By Mari Ono
Cico Books 2017
Paperback (includes 50 sheets of origami paper) £12.99 UK/ $19.95 US/$23.95 CAN

ISBN 978-1-78249-422-5

Star rating: *****

This delightful origami book, by expert Mari Ono (with an assist from her artist husband), could be the makings of a very special half-term “together” activity. The book provides 35 cute animal models – and a pack of printed origami papers specially engineered to fit. Such a very good idea. The models really come to life enhanced by the custom-designed papers. (I love engineered prints – they are a design sweet spot – decoration strategically placed to enhance form.) The papers are designed by Mari Ono’s husband, a graphic artist. They make a great team. 

The book’s intro provides a capsule history of the Japanese origami tradition. A nice opener to set the tone.

The book is divided into four sections: In the House, In the Garden, On the Farm, and In the Wild. Representatives of the animal kingdom include an adorable Scottish Terrier, a cuddly Hamster, a fun Hedgehog, a Parrot, a Pigeon, a Peacock, an Angel Fish, a puffy Blow Fish, a Hermit Crab and the sweet cover bunnies. 

The projects are photographed in imaginative, colourful papercraft landscapes, and are accompanied by detailed step-by-step how-tos. The photos have superimposed directional fold lines and are accompanied by instructional text. Each project has a transliterated Japanese name with its English counterpart. 

The papers are packaged in a durable plastic wallet inside the back cover. (I probably shouldn’t say this, but an obvious thing would be to scan/and or photocopy all the papers before making the models so that you can make repeats – as you are sure to want to do.) Many of the models would be recognizable when made up in just-plain origami paper, or they could be enhanced with hand-drawn details.

More please! This idea has legs. I hope that further origami projects with engineered papers are in the pipeline. Christmas makes would be an obvious choice.