How to buy a good book about origami for kids

How to buy a good book about origami for kids

While we all are on quarantine, there is a surge in origami book demand. Especially origami for kids. As I am also staying at home I decided to write (finally) about the kids’ books.
Thing is… half of origami for children books on amazon are either fake or pirated. But let’s have a closer look!

If you open amazon’s best sellers list, you find a lot of kids books on origami. Lots of them. At some point I was curious… And I realised that I have never heard the names of the authors. Never! I tried googling them, nothing! the person does not exist and the image is taken from some celebrity!
Here’s 50 top books in origami at amazon, so that you realise the amount of problems:

kids origami books at amazon
It’s only 50 top rated origami books. And 3 circled positions are not good in terms of probably stolen content. There are even more fakes in the bottom of the list.

The guide for buying good children origami book

Look at the *amount* of reviews

Not only overall rating is important, the amount of reviews is. If you see the origami book with 100 reviews and average rating of 4.5 stars it’s not the same as the book with 20 reviews and the same rating. Especially if it’s a new book. My Kusudama Origami(2014) book sold over 16.000 copies, and I can tell you that there are only about 135 reviews at amazon. And that’s a popular book! So if you see a new self-published book (say August 2019) with 114 reviews, it’s fishy! Amount of reviews pops up when they try to shadow the vast amount of bad reviews. And there are reasons for the bad reviews.

bad origami book ratings on amazon
114 customer ratings since August 2019! Impressive activity! And look at the image quality!

Google the author or the publisher

Either the publisher should be well known, or the author. If the book is “published independently” it means it’s self published. Nothing bad about that, I self-published 3 of 4 of my origami books. But if you google my name, you will quickly find my instagram, website, facebook. You will find out I am a real person who really does some origami. For other authors you could find other origami related activity. For example origami convention participations, published pictures of their work or… even a post on social media that would boast about their new book! Something that would show you it’s a real person.
But some of the origami book authors are not googlable. Never they appear on the origami conventions, flickr, instagram. They simply do not exist. Same with the images. I googled one author and I discovered somebody named Kerry Jones took the image of Jen Atkins, some famous hair stylist. Simple! And this is pure scam! (I seriously doubt hair guru would bother making origami books with stolen content under a different name, lol)


Surely look inside! Look for quality images.

Always, always look inside the book (this is an amazon function). If it’s Kindle, switch to paperback and look inside. Because kindle has very limited preview usually. If you see bad quality diagrams or inconsistent diagrams (of different style) – pass on this book. It might be made of diagrams collected from internet. Always look at the images people are posting: if the diagrams look like they were made in 90s – find another book.
Nice origami books have nice diagrams and nice photographs.

Stolen images in origami book
Bad origami book: these diagrams look like they are taken from very old free origami websites. Images are inconsistent in quality too.

Look inside twice! look inside the other origami books for kids!

Here is the very suspicious table of contents. The trick was that 2 absolutely different books by different authors will have exactly same content… hmm…

I looked at several books and I was surprised that several different children origami books would have same content. Or same style content. That was odd, I thought. Well, maybe they used the same diagrammer? But … since these ‘authors’ did not belong to origami community, that was not really believable. So I asked around. And origami community is strong, so I quickly got an answer! I found this has been taken from Origami-Club website! and yes, this content is free there! So you can get these origami instructions for your kids right now, right there!
I surely contacted the website owners and they did not authorise the use, it seems.

Find 10 differences. and yes you can get it for free on Origami-Club’s website

Asking friends

I feel I need to add some positive examples here! what are your favourite good quality beginner origami books?
Please let me know in comments and I will add that to the post!

2 Replies to “How to buy a good book about origami for kids”

  1. My nine-year-old has been devouring Florence Temko’s Origami Magic and Origami Toys. She likes making useful things, so the John Montroll book I bought was less interesting to her.

    1. Well, the article covers a bit different subject. How to not buy a low quality pirated book 🙂 All books you mention are authentic.

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