Monday, November 23, 2009

Nonfiction Monday: How-To Books from Kids Can Press

My first encounter with Kids Can Press was as a teenager; browsing through the library, looking for craft books, I found the Kids Can Do It series...and I was in love. A huge variety of projects, simple, easy instructions, helpful photographs....they're the epitome of craft books. Now, I am delighted to review two very unusual "how to do it" books from Kids Can Press. They've retained all the best of the Kids Can Do It series, but used it on some unusual topics!

Want to freak out your family and gross out your friends? Does fake blood sound like the perfect birthday present? Do you like gross and icky projects? Then 100% Pure Fake is the book for you! With clear, step-by-step instructions (plenty of warnings and safety precautions to reassure parents) and ingredients you can probably find in your own kitchen, you'll learn how to make different types of fake blood, scars, rotting flesh, eyeballs, the classic spill, broken glass, shrunken heads, and more! This book is genius, pure genius. What other gross craft book can you think of that not only tells you how to make fake differentiates between arterial blood, "basic" blood, and scabs? Perfect for craft programs around Halloween, even parents who don't like gross crafts will be resigned to the fool-proof projects which include cleaning-up instructions as needed!

How countries are formed on the global scale isn't something you often see in children's books - still less how governments work. At least, you don't see it in books kids will want to check out! At my library I have a tidy shelf of how-the-government-works books. I dust them every week. Booooring. But what if you weren't just reading about it....what if you were starting your own country? With step-by-step instructions, plenty of humor, fascinating facts about other country builders, large and small, and quirky illustrations, Valerie Wyatt and Fred Rix have created the perfect book for showing kids how governments are formed and stabilized (or not). And the how-to part isn't just a gimmick - the information and history is built around actual instructions on forming your own micronation and there's plenty of stories of people who did just that! This book is part of the CitizenKid series by Kids Can Press and I'm looking forward to checking out the rest of this series! Hand this book out to kids looking for something to do, researching governments, kids interested in virtual worlds, kids interested in politics and history...the list is endless. I, myself, am already planning a program based on this excellent guide.

Verdict: Highly recommended

100% Pure Fake by Lyn Thomas
ISBN: 978-1554532902; Published August 2009 by Kids Can Press; Review copy provided by the publisher through Raab Associates

How to build your own country by Valerie Wyatt, illustrated by Fred Rix
ISBN: 978-1554533107; Published August 2009 by Kids Can Press; Review copy provided by the publisher through Raab Associates

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