The human figure is one of the earliest topics drawn by the young child and remains popular throughout childhood and into adolescence. When it first emerges, however, the human figure in the child's drawing is very bizarre: it appears to have no torso and its arms, if indeed it has any, are attached to its head. Even when the figure begins to look more conventional the child must still contend with a variety of problems: for instance, how to draw the head and body in the right proportions and how to draw the figure in action.
In this book, Maureen Cox traces the development of the human form in children's drawings; she reviews the literature in the field, criticises a number of major theories which purport to explain the developing child's drawing skills and also presents new data.
The book is attractive because it is well written and concise on the one hand and theory-oriented and adequately documented on the other. It contains approximately 240 relevant references and useful author and subject indexes. Moreover, it is carefully edited and illustrated. Admirably, and most importantly, Maureen Cox displays her research inclination in every chapter by questioning the adequacy of earlier studies, by considering alternative explanations and by refraining from easy generalisations and sweeping statements. This serves to recommend her book to developmental psychologists, educators, and those interested in cultural and developmental aspects of graphic art. - Bulletin of the International Graphonomics Society
This book is a comprehensive review of North American and European studies, covering development, intelligence levels, intercultural aspects, and emotional indicators in the drawings…This is a scholarly work that deserves attention. - Audrey Rieger in Science Books and Films
The Meaning of the Marks. The Tadpole Figure. Children's Modifications of their Human Figure Drawings. Human Figure Drawings as Measures of Intellectual Maturity. Human Figure Drawings as Indicators of Children's Personality and Emotional Adjustment. Sex Differences in Children's Human Figure Drawings. Human Figure Drawings in Different Cultures.