Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe?

Booklist (February 15, 2009 (Vol. 105, No. 12))
Grades 1-3. Recycling becomes lots of fun in this sprightly activity book. Alter offers 13 projects, and unlike some craft books, green or not, the finished projects are usually items kids will want to use. Each chapter begins with the question “What can you do with . . . ?” From one flip-flop to a ripped shower curtain, from used wrapping paper to empty berry baskets, useless things become transformed: the flip-flop into a stamp for making art, the shower curtain into an apron, the wrapping paper into greeting cards, and the baskets into possession-holders. Not every project is a winner—kids probably won’t want to take the time and effort to make a patch for torn clothes from a blanket—but melting down old crayons to make drawing cubes is clever indeed. The instructions are clear and simple (adult help is noted when required), and what really makes this a standout is Alter’s adorable artwork featuring a coterie of animals at work and play. Short poems introduce each project.

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