Every once in a while a “how-to” DVD comes along that stands out among the others. I don’t usually talk about these but this one deserves my attention. This show, Drawing with Mark, is hosted by former Disney illustrator, Mark Marderosian.  What’s different is that the host takes you on a field trip first – to the science, for example to observe first-hand prehistoric animals and visit with the museum’s expert who teaches us about life in the time of dinosaurs. There are two DVDs in the series and each one contains two separate episodes. My youth critics reviewed it and loved it.



Below are written reviews by Stacy and Valdi Belizaire, two sisters, both KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, ages 10 and 11.

“Drawing with Mark: A Day With The Dinosaurs and Reach For The Stars”

Reviewed by Stacy-Love Belizaire

“Drawing with Mark” is a great show to learn tips about how to draw and/or improve your drawing. Mark is really helpful and easy to understand. In “A Day with the Dinosaurs” I learned how to draw a pterodactyl and a T-rex. Mark visits the Museum of Boston and speaks with an expert to learn more about them and to get an idea of how the dinosaurs lived, what they ate and how long they lived. I learned that sometimes they call dinosaurs very large lizards.

In the other episode, “Reach for the Stars,” I learned how to draw an astronaut and the planet Saturn, the planet with the rings around it. At the Museum of Boston, he speaks with another expert about the stars, the galaxy, the astronauts and of course, Saturn. I also learned how far we are from the stars. I thought that the stars were probably about 270 miles from us, but they are actually millions of miles from us. That’s really far! You can see the stars look kind of close, but they are so far away!!

Mark taught me that a drawing takes time and you don’t need to rush. Always draw the stick figure, the foundation, before you start adding details and other special little things. You need to draw the outline and just sketch it, don’t hold your pencil too hard; sketch lightly and softly.

I recommend this show to anyone who loves to draw and wants to improve their drawing. You can have fun with the tips he gives you which may lead you to become and artist or to illustrate books. I give the show 5 stars out of 5 and recommend it to all ages because, it’s never too late to learn to draw. “Drawing with Mark” is a really fun, artistic and colorful program that will be open a new world to future artists around the world.

 “Drawing With Mark: Happy Tails and Ice Cream”  

Reviewed by Valdi Belizaire   

If you love drawing like me, then you’ll love “Drawing with Mark.” This show teaches kids how to draw while also teaching them their shapes and some history about the things they draw.  Kids also learn three or four fun facts about what they are drawing.                                                         

The “Happy Tails” part of this show is about cats and dogs and how to draw them.  He also talks about how much responsibility it is to have a dog. You have to groom it, take care of it, bring it to the vet and feed it. In the “Ice Cream” episode, Mark goes to the ice cream shop and learns about children’s favorite ice cream flavors and you’ll never guess – it’s cake batter flavor! When I heard this I thought that it was funny because I would never think that they would make a cake batter flavored ice cream.

I like that this show helped me be a better artist and I learned how to draw a dog and a cat better than I already did. I also learned how to draw an ice cream truck and a man holding an ice cream cone. I love watching this because I learned a lot and it made me understand the fundamentals of drawing. I also like that they included a live-action human with animated characters. I also like it when they went into the ice cream shop and saw Crystal Cat in the toppings section. It was funny because they were talking about all of the toppings that the kids pick every time they come in and Crystal Cat was right there so they started laughing. There is no underlying message in this story, because it’s about drawing except maybe that no matter how old you are, you can draw big things.

 I recommend this show to anyone that loves to draw to express their feelings, or to just have fun. I recommend this for people ages six and older because anyone can draw if they want to. I would give this DVD four out of five because overall I liked it but I wish that it had more music.

 Here’s a link to a video review by Cheyenne N. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSvtGZ6aHlU

KIDSFIRST! Coming Attractions is a weekly radio show hosted by eighteen KIDS FIRST! Film Critics, ages 7 to 16. These critics win a spot as a KIDS FIRST! Film Critic through a national competition held annually. They review new films and DVDs, attend Red Carpet events and premieres and interview talent on and off the Red Carpet. KIDS FIRST!, a program of the 22-year-old Coalition for Quality Children’s Media, is the country’s most valued source for reviews of children’s media. As a national, nonprofit organization, KIDS FIRST! teaches children critical viewing skills and engages them as jurors to evaluate, rate and review films, DVDs, TV shows, music, games and apps.