Thursday, May 31, 2018

Craftily ever after: Making the band by Martha Maker, illustrated by Xindi Yan

Emily, Maddie, Bella, and Sam are four friends with a fun clubhouse. In that clubhouse, they love to make things and each friend has something they're good at. Maddi Wilson (African-American) has a sewing machine in her corner, Bella Diaz (Hispanic) has a coding computer, Emily Adams has a section for carpentry, and Sam Sharma (Indian, male) is into painting.

Their introductory project in the story is making brushbots, but their real challenge comes when their school announces a talent contest. The four friends want to work together, but although they are good at making things, they don't do anything that qualifies as a talent. Or do they? They figure out they can use their making abilities to make a band and, after several disasters, they have a successful and fun evening at the talent show with a standing ovation to finish.

Cheerful black and white line drawings show a diverse group of students who, despite various disasters, remain cheerful and upbeat. Their handmade instruments are cute and clever and instructions for making your own cereal box guitar are included at the end.

While the characters are not very well fleshed-out and there is quite a bit of wishful thinking going on here, especially in the kids being able to do all of this with minimal adult supervision or intervention, it's fine for a beginning chapter book.

Verdict: A nice range of diversity and ties into the current trend of making things. Sure to be popular where you have kids who enjoying crafting and creating.

ISBN: 9781534409118; Published 2018 by Little Simon/Simon and Schuster; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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