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on 8 October 2008
The book contains instructions for seventy-five models which are well chosen and contains a sufficiently wide range of subject method and folding styles to have something of interest from absolute beginners to the origami expert. A pack of origami paper accompanies the book and although the paper is coloured on both sides and a little small it is a crisp paper which provides an excellent folding experience and will enable the beginner to start using the book immediately.

Inside the book is divided into three parts. After the introduction the first part Coming to the Crease: Basic Techniques contains sections on getting started, drawing diagrams and getting creative. Each of the title pages for the book contains a cartoon related to origami, the whole book is characterised by a light touch and humour which is sadly lacking in a lot of origami books. This opening section is excellent and gradually introduces the reader to origami and introduces the beginner to symbols and techniques.

As with all Dummies books the text has bullet points indicated in the margins by icons drawing the reader's attention to important points or potential pitfalls. This section includes important and often neglected advice about diagramming styles and techniques and offers important sections on approaches to creativity. Also in this section is discussion of ethics and copyright in origami, including selling of origami and "e-books". This is the first time this subject has been discussed in a mainstream published book although discussion of these thorny subjects regularly appear in origami forum and chat rooms.

The book then moves into Part 2 Folding On: The Models starting with simple ones moving on through moderately tricky via geometric onto more challenging models. The excellent diagrams and folding methods will enable everyone to complete all the models enclosed and there is ample help along the way for beginners. Seventy five models are included of all styles of origami and the book continues with a nice balance of diagrams and text which makes for an easy reading style with sufficient text to be of interest but not too technical or heavy, making this a volume of more than a book of just origami diagrams. Throughout the book the author adopts the method of introducing a technique and then immediately showing a model using the technique so the beginner is producing origami models from the start including excellent minimalist designs such as the Horizon and a simple Sailboat.

The models chosen are excellent the only traditional models are the Flapping Bird and Lazy Susan (which deserves to be republished). Most are contemporary and new including unpublished works by recognised origami experts Dave Brill, Robert Lang, Eric Joisel and John Montroll amongst others. Highlights include Ted Norminton's Santa, Robinson's own take on the Dummy Man logo, Max Hulme's flying Aladdin, Grzegorz Bubniak's Beetle and the first mainstream publication of Louis Fernandez Perez's classic Perro Liberando ( a dog attending to it's basic needs!) complete with "complemento" and the new symbol of a gas mask. Perhaps uniquely in any origami book all the models deserve folding and it is difficult to find any "fillers" or sub standard models.

The third section The Part of Tens is a part of every Dummies book, a concise and quirky set of small but perfectly formed chapters which deserve reading and re-reading. This section includes ten top tips, ten styles of origami including the little mentioned school of ultimate realism. The book is complemented by an excellent index. Such an excellent book has few drawbacks - some of the layout of the diagrams is a little careless with too much white space (a fault of the publishers not the authors) and the front cover photo of the crane is not included in the model diagrams but these are minor points. A few minor errors have crept in but these should not prevent anyone completing any models or enjoying the book, hopefully these will be corrected in future editions,

A video promoting the book has been viewed over 30,000 times on Youtube and so proves the interest this book has generated. The popular and well trusted Dummies brand deserves to have a book about origami and this book delivers the goods. Although origami is new to the Dummies format and there are a few minor niggles in adopting the in house style of the format this book has lived up to its promise, providing an excellent introductory and reference book. Unlike most origami books this one has excellent sections on diagramming and creativity and has a superb collection of mostly unpublished models and not just a collection of already well known traditional models. As such this book is heartily endorsed as an excellent buy for anybody, and would make an ideal gift. It's the perfect introduction to origami for the complete novice and has much to interest even the most proficient origami expert.
Wayne Brown

Origami Kit for Dummies (For Dummies)
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on 2 July 2009
For me, Origami Kit For Dummies scores amply & abundantly well in areas which users of an origami book would want - It's clear, precise & illustrated well; It contains a very diverse range of models of varying complexity to fold; There's a pack of paper squares to get readers started; It includes tips for folding, designing, & diagramming; There's an overview of origami's history, lists of folders' materials & tools, a recap on folding classic origami model bases, advice on recognising creators' rights, glossaries of model/folding styles, a Top 10 of master creators; And much, much more.
But having seen, read, & used many origami books over equally many years, including several from this author, Nick Robinson, what sets this book (& others from him) apart from many others on the subject are the warmth, humour, & humanity that he always injects. Yes, he's also included comic origami-related cartoons here (& to good effect) but Robinson's books are not as staid & arid as so many others in the genre, & this is so welcome to see!
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on 14 July 2009
This is the perfect book to inspire beginners and rekindle the enthusiasm of experts because it is the most thoughtful work on origami that I have ever read. Yes, it includes a packet of origami paper so the beginner can begin immediately on opening the book. The layout of the material is attractive and the writing is welcoming. And there is the required plentitude of excellent models to captivate both the beginner and expert. All that is sufficient for a useful book, but there is much more offered by the author.
Nick Robinson is a creator of original models who understands the creative process and communicates possibilities to the reader. He is an accomplished illustrator who knows what the reader needs to be shown and how to reveal it. Best of all, he has been a teacher of origami over decades and experienced the requirements of instruction. This is far more than a barebones collection of models, however valuable such a lively gathering is. Robinson is both relaxed and serious about the craft, so he takes time to write about how to begin, tips on the process of folding, and a discussion of the different styles of folding that have appeared in this ancient craft. What he communicates is valuable for the beginner and a necessary reminder for the expert.
The book is not quite perfect. The model on the cover is not included in the text. The origami paper is not the usual sheet white on one side and color on the other side, not conforming to the illustrations. Some photographs of the completed models would have been instructive. But these are trivial matters. Robinson is a well-rounded, great teacher so all who seek to be stimulated by this craft, realizing that we are actually and always dummies, will enjoy his Origami Kit For Dummies.

Robert E. Neale
Vermont, USA
July 2009
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on 3 July 2009
This book really does take you through from the simplest models to complex ones so will be a welcome addition to anyone's library.If you thought you couldn't do origami think again, this book will show you that you can and you will have the added bonus of impressing your friends with your new found skills!

It also gives tips on diagramming,if you have created a model you will need to know this, an informative chapter for budding creators.

As well as all the models you can fold and create there is a pack of origami paper at the back of the book to get you started.

I would recommend this book to anyone, if you don't already have any origami books this is the one to start with and if you do have a collection of origami books this one tells you things that you can't find elsewhere. A book for everyone.
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on 2 July 2009
Here is a book for anyone who has had a go at origami, and failed. It's a comprehensive guide filled with excellent diagrams, clear text and practical information. It features a variety of new and old models suitable for teachers of origami and the more experienced folder. This is destined to become a classic: a definitive textbook that wears its learning lightly. As such it is a bargain and I award it a richly-deserved five stars.
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on 2 July 2009
I'm generally somewhat sceptic of books describing themselves as "for dummies": but after seeing a few people I respect in the origami community speak highly of this book, I decided to purchase a copy. I've been very pleased with the book: as with many of Robinson's books, there's a lot more text than one might expect to see in an origami book, but there are also lots of neat models diagrammed: the text is an unexpected bonus.
And as such, the book works well not just for beginners, but for experienced folders as well: I've recommended it to several people, and will continue to do so.
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on 5 March 2010
This book is a good starting poing and certainly allowed me to become enthusiastic about origami the minute it arrived. Some models are difficult to follow from the written instruction but a brief search on YouTube will enhance your skills. Good Luck.
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on 11 September 2009
This has to be one of the best introductions to origami I've seen yet (and, believe me, I've seen quite a few). There are plenty of origami books that focus mainly on just teaching models, but unless you already have a certain amount of experience they can be disappointing if there is no proper guidance for the reader. Origami Kit for Dummies is a complete course that not only gives you lots of things to fold but also provides a waelth of interesting background information and tips along the way. The models themselves are carefully chosen to take you from the stage of complete beginner to a level where you are ready to take on much more advanced work. Another strong point is that, apart from a very small number of essential classics that are have been explained many times before in other books, much of the material will be new even to quite experienced folders. Above all the whole tone of the book is easy-going and encouraging, yet serious enough to show how fascinating origami can be as a hobby and even as an art. Thoroughly recommended.
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on 26 April 2014
Origami Kit for Dummies gets 3 stars because it fundamentally does what it says on the tin. However the execution and content is dreadful. For the record i am a moderately experienced but lapsed folder and i was looking to get reacquianted with the art.

A book that introduces Origami is duty bound to include 'classics' such as the Sampan, Salt cellar/fortune teller, Kimono, Classic Crane (Orizuru and the 1000 cranes legend that goes with it), Elephant, Rabbit,and inflated Frog. It mentions using money, but fails to include a single dollar-bil design.

A lot of the designs are very abstract which for the artist will be appreciated, but for the layman - ostensibly the target audience for this book - they will rarely be inspired to create them. Personally i would construct the Dragonfly and that's it.

Content aside the instructions are also poorly done. Rather than have each diagram with the explanation below, the two are kept separate. In practice this will mean having two hands on the model and trying to turn pages to get the best value from the instruction.

In all honesty i cannot recommend this book to anyone but an experienced artist or a collector. The 'for Dummies' label would de well to pull this.
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on 6 January 2009
Wayne Brown has already provided a very extensive review, which I more or less agree with, so I'll only make a few comments.

Basically, if you want to start origami or are an origami beginner then this is a great book to buy. Don't hesitate, order it right away. The range of models is good and the difficulty is well scaled, letting you develop your skills step by step. You get to try all diferent types of models and really get a good idea of what origami is capable of.

The only real negative is the lack of photos of models. It really would have been good if colour photos of the models were included instead of drawings. Also, the 'Dummies' theme/styling/structure is a little irritating but I suppose that couldn't be avoided as that's the style of the franchise.

If you're an intermediate or advanced origamist I'd think twice before buying. You won't find that much that you haven't seen before and won't be very challenged by any of the models.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad book by any means but is of limited value as you'll be familiar with most of the contents, and you have to consider that the book really isn't aimed at you anyway. However, the price is currently cheap and if you're a collector then you might want to consider this title for your origami library.

If you're new to origami then I'd rate this book 4 out of 5. The lack of photos is the only negative.

If you're an intermediate or advanced origamist I'd rate it 3 out of 5. It's good but just doesn't offer enough, although to be fair it's not really supposed to, seeing as how it's for 'Dummies'.
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