Review: Peanuts Origami

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The book Peanuts Origami is designed for people who are not me, specifically people who are willing to rip pages out of a Peanuts book so that they can fold them into things. Maybe if I had three copies, I would do that for one. I shall not find out.

But it does try to give me something nonetheless. Each of the 20 or so project in the book is accompanied by a Peanuts strip, and either a page of text on some aspect of Peanuts or a page of Peanuts trivia questions. The questions run the gamut from ones that everyone reading something called “The AAUGH Blog” should know to, well, other ones. (I’m a Professional Peanuts Nerd and I cannot name the date that a kite first appeared in Peanuts. Lucky for me, the questions are all multiple choices.)

Yes, they do make the “blockhead” joke.

The book starts off with some basic instructions in origami, including how to read the diagrams used in the book, before moving on to the individual projects, which have a range of difficulty. The assessed difficulties (rated from 1 to 4 stars) are not listed in the table of contents, nor on the project pages themselves (although you can probably judge them by how many steps there are), but back one page 112, for some reason.

The individual projects include various Peanuts characters, as well as objects in the Peanuts universe – a kite, a football, Joe Cool’s sunglasses (?!), and two versions of Snoopy’s doghouse, one flat, one 3-D. (Since you can see in the 3-D one, you can finally learn which Van Gogh Snoopy owned; it’s one of the Sunflowers series. The last one of these on the market sold for almost $40 million a third of a century ago, so Snoopy’s loss of it when his doghouse burned down was tragic in the financial as well as the artistic sense… although if he had insurance on it, that may explain how he managed to afford a Wyeth when he rebuilt.)

The recognizability of the characters and items comes less from the shapes than from the specially printed papers that are bound into the back of the book. This leads me to suggest that if you have a young’un just starting out with origami, you may want to start them with a more basic book with some more generic projects, so that they can make their learning mistakes on common origami paper, rather than messing up their one chance to fold themselves a psychiatric booth.

Some of the papers are kind of disturbing before you fold them into shape.

This may very well be for you, if you are the crafty sort of Peanuts fan. And it may well make a good gift, as a craft gift for the older kids… if someone doesn’t buy it themselves, they won’t feel so precious about taking out pages and making mistakes. But if you buy one for me, I need three!

By the way, this book, which is available for immediate shipping, has no listed author on the book itself; the Amazon listing credits it to Charles M. Schulz. There are a quartet of “contributing writers” on the copyright page; danged if I know if any of them is a big name in the origami field. Or even if there are big names in the origami field.

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