Dollar Bill Origami - John Montroll

John Montroll is a well known name in origami, and he does an excellent job of creating both simple shapes for beginners as well as extraordinarily complex shapes for experts. This book is no exception. This is a great book to get if you're interested in presents, tips or other uses for money origami. Even if you're a raw beginner, you can start with the very simple items, and work your way up to the complex.

First, the collection of shapes. Things are rated by star difficulty. With the basic one star you get a boat, three diamonds, George Washington slept here bed, and a swan. For two stars you get a George Washington framed picture, star of David, windmill, house with chimney, sword, one-way arrow, tetrahedron cube, diamond, tulip, evergreen, tree with spiked branches, African mask, shirt with tie, crane, vulture, goose, flamingo, peacock, pelican, Asian dragon, alligator, tyrannosaurus, rabbit, armadillo, and squirrel.

Move up to three stars and you get a petalled flower, eagle, aardvark, llama, bison, butterfly and dragonfly.

That's the beauty of this book. You can make the classic shirt and swan designs for general tip-giving. If you've got a friend that is year of the dragon or year of the rabbit in Chinese astrology, those make perfect gift giving shapes. A house becomes a great housewarming present. The bed is a "thanks for letting me stay over" present. Insted of your gifts coming across as crass "take the cash please" sorts of things, you give it a touch of class by matching the shape to the occasion.

I have a minor problem with the illustrations, as they are simply done with one side of the paper shown white and the other side shown grey. That makes it really hard to understand what's going on in some situations. If the illustrations actually showed a dollar bill design, you could match up where the parts fell to know you were folding properly. John also has this tendency to do tricky folds that involve squashes and folds that will tie your brain in knots. It can easily take you several tries to figure out his more tricky moves on advanced designs. Again, better illustrations would help with this.

That all being said, you get an amazing collection of designs in this book, and your skills will definitely advance as you move your way through the designs. Well recommended!

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