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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 50/50 projects vs. lifestyle suggestions... Crunchy mom primer that preaches to the choir?, November 20, 2012
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This review is from: Hand in Hand: Crafting with Kids (Paperback)
I wanted to love this book.

I have to agree with the reviewer who characterized the book as being more about the bloggers than about the projects. While there are some fun projects in this book that I plan to try, it's maybe 50% or less about the projects and ideas, if you start counting pages. Much of the content of this book is overearnest hagiography: full-page photos of attractive young alt hipster moms with their charming kids in back carriers and handknit sweaters, and those moms' very general, *gentle*, soft-focus musings from their blogs about mothering, playing and working with kids, homeschooling, appreciating nature, creative lifestyle etc.

Some of that can be inspirational, and individually I do admire these photogenic-yet-normal women and their creativity, but overall I found the balance of content of the book to be far too heavy on the biography and over-generalized waxing philosophical about motherhood and kids and crafting. To spend 15% of a page's real estate, page ten for example, to put in a sidebar with big subheaders, telling me in two chunks of text that making soup or jam can be fun and creative with kids (without offering anything novel or specific) seems forehead-smackingly obvious, trite, and annoying. Do I really need to see half a dozen photos of each mom just hanging out with her kids, totally unrelated to the project described?

The project descriptions are brief. They give a little guidance, and a list of suggested materials, but mostly seem to gently prod one to "try quilting" or "play around with old boxes"... This kind of general fuzzy 'direction' being offered makes this book seem a little too content-light for those of us looking for specific ideas of unique, fun crafty things to do with our kiddos. If I'm creative and unscheduled enough to design my own craft projects, I'm not sure I actually need this book. I expected, and would have preferred, that 'how-to-be-a-crunchy-mom' biography aspect more as a sidebar about the author of each project, with more actual projects from each author, and specific suggestions on how to complete specific craft projects. Instead, what you see in the book preview is actually what you get! Unfortunately, each 'mom' in the book only presents one project, and presents it briefly and in fairly general terms.

I was hoping for a best-of-the-web compendium of craft projects for families here, but apparently I'll have to keep searching the web for the rest/best of the book. I suspect the concept of the book was to promote these ladies' blogs? Personally, I buy books about creative project ideas because I want to spend LESS time in front of the screen. The author is a promoter and 'packager' of craft books, and I definitely fell for the packaging on this one. Great idea but not enough BEEF.

If you're not a crunchy mom but want to play one on TV, this could be your study guide. If you're already pretty crunchy, it will read a bit like parody at times. Not much edge or humor to be found here. And not that many projects for the page count. Try to get this one out of the library or just go online. Sorry, Jenny.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 1, 2012 5:12:57 PM PST
L. Johnson says:
I have this book and I agree.
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