Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fun Adventure Crafts series by Anna Llimos

Oh, we so wanted to like these. Crafts books are always very popular here, not just with our kid and adult patrons, but with Miss Ami, who continually has to think up new and exciting craft ideas! Unfortunately, as cute as the crafts pictured are, they aren't terribly useful for either Miss Ami or her patrons.

Every single craft involves clay, paper and cardboard. While paper is certainly plentiful and used every day, cardboard - especially shaped the way some of these need to be - is a bit unweildy for younger children. Clay can be loads of fun - with one child. A room full? Not so much.

From Enslow's site (bold is ours):
These crafts center on a theme and use simple materials found in the home, or are easily available. All of the projects combine to create one full scene, and are simple enough to make without a lot of parental help. Each book includes hands-on activities. Students can also choose to make just one or several of the crafts. A class group might work together to create the full scene, with each individual student responsible for a different craft.
We have to disagree with that highlighted part. Amazon lists the age range as 4-8 years, but we think that's a bit low. These might be of interest to older children, particularly those who enjoy spending a lot of time on intricate projects. And intricate they certainly are! While children certainly don't have to get as detailed as the examples (the toes on the cabin boy!) they are almost certain to become frustrated and disappointed when their attempts don't match up. The lack of variety was also disappointing - one would expect a book of crafts on a subject to use different media and approaches, while these are just different variations on clay people and structures.
Cute projects, and the instructions are clear, but we don't see these getting much circulation. We give them a

3 out of 5.

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