From School Library Journal
Grade 2–5—These activities, crafts, and games are arranged by type of material used, such as rocks, pebbles, and shells; soil, clay, and sand, etc. There's a wide range of interesting projects, including clay beads, a glittering sand castle, potpourri, a sea sparkler, a wind sock, a gourd birdhouse, broken-china mosaics, homemade paper, rock sculpture, and garden chimes. Children will also learn how to make natural glue, cornstarch paint, and salt clay. Materials needed and numbered directions are given for each activity. Most supplies are easily obtainable through scraps from nature, recyclables, and general items; others must be purchased from craft or hardware stores. Safety tips and warnings are listed where appropriate; adult supervision is required for about 16 of the projects. Boxed text provides additional information, such as why you can't pick flowers in national parks. Black-and-white illustrations appear throughout. Useful advice and educational tips are included throughout, such as the importance of trees, the art of recycling, John James Audubon, Arbor Day, Stonehenge, and animal rescue. A "Nature's Paint" chart explains which berries and flowers produce certain colors for painting. The list for further exploration includes 39 books and l4 Web sites. The teacher's guide is handy as it lists activities by age level. This book will be a popular addition to library collections and useful in classroom settings to supplement science and art assignments.—Augusta R. Malvagno, Queens Borough Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This ecofriendly craft title encourages children to explore the natural world through projects based on natural, nontoxic, and renewable materials. Grouped into categories such as "Trees, Leaves, and Twigs" and "Rocks, Pebbles, and Shells," the projects lead children systematically through the construction of items such as a trivet made of sticks and a toy boat built of bark. Age levels and suggestions for adult supervision are indicated, and given the somewhat dense layout and wide range of projects, it's likely that elementary students will need help with most of the projects. Small sketches display the finished crafts, but some readers may miss the clarity of photos as well as step-by-step illustrations. There's a wealth of creative, accessible ideas here, though, which are further supported by frequent sidebars offering helpful, basic science facts. A final section of projects focuses on recycling and reuse. The appended resource lists and teachers' guides link this to the curriculum, but anyone seeking low-cost, Earth-focused activities for kids will find good ideas here. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved