Mary Engelbreit's whimsical and brightly colored style is a natural for kid-oriented crafts. Geared to 6- to 14-year-olds, this delightful book opens with a pep talk encouraging her young fans to carve out a little workspace for themselves and get creative. Kids can decorate their rooms, their stuff, and themselves with these cute and clever ideas, making fun accessories, wild dress-up clothes, funky gifts and stationery, bedroom-brightening organizers, scrapbooks, and lots more. Most of the projects require only minimal adult involvement, if any, and the supplies are generally basic craft-store items. So that no mistakes stand in the way, the "Oh No" suggestion boxes explain how to cope with boo-boos like splotched paint on the wrong part of the project. And for the crafty child who likes a challenge, the "Miss Smarty" boxes offer options to take the project in new directions. Engelbreit may even inspire some budding artists to make drawing and crafting an integral part of their lives. --Amy Handy
From School Library Journal
Grade 3-7-Budding Martha Stewarts will squeal over this book. The directions and photographs are clear, the supply lists are thorough, and traceable patterns are included. Alternate suggestions are given in case the project is too upscale or expensive. The first craft sets the tone. It explains how to design a special chair. After an adult has measured and determined the amount of fabric needed to cover it, children then personalize the cloth with their drawings or writings. The third and final step is for the adult to take the fabric and chair to an upholstery shop where it can be professionally covered. The backup plan should this prove to be impossible is to design a pillow or place mat instead. Fortunately, most of the following projects are less ambitious. They include nature crafts such as twig picture frames, costumes and accessories, patterns for tea-party place settings, paper crafts such as greeting cards and stationery, and dozens more. The book is loaded with ideas, many of which smack of cuteness, but they can serve as catalysts for other activities by inventive children.Jennifer J. Gallant, Cleveland Public Library, OH
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