I always find these safety sections annoying. If a child needs to be told to be careful using "knives, scissors, or other sharp objects" and reminded to ask for help and permission, they probably are not old enough to use those items on their own anyways. But I suppose the publisher has to put those warnings in. The other thing that often annoys me in these recycled crafts books is the number of tools and materials that few people are likely to have lying around their homes. However, grumbling aside, it's time to look at the books!
Cool Odds and Ends starts out with a list of tools and materials. Mostly standard craft tools, but again the warning at the beginning of the book and the book's size - 8x8 picture book type style - is at variance with needing a craft knife, acrylic paint and sealer, hot glue gun, and jewelry supplies like ear wires and hang rings. The projects include making a dresser tray out of an old picture frame, a kitty bed out of a basket, gazing ball with a bowling ball and flat marbles, pencil art, swirly cd art, game piece jewelry, and dragonflies out of old screens. The dresser tray is something a younger child could do with help, the kitty bed seems rather pointless to me - who's going to have a basket big enough just sitting around and would a cat actually sleep on that? The gazing ball requires a bowling ball and you'd probably have to buy the flat marbles, the pencil art was rather a strange, the swirly cd art very young, the kind of thing a little kid would think was cute, and the game piece jewelry and screen dragonflies need high dexterity levels - a teen would probably really enjoy those last two projects.
Verdict: The Odds and Ends title has a couple projects I might like to use with teens, Plastic had nothing really useful, the Fabric book had a pretty good balance of projects for different ages and interests, Glass was almost all decorating jars. All the books are attractively designed, but lacking in content. There were several other titles, but I thought this was quite enough for a representative sample (metal and paper I think). Ultimately, none of these books are worth the price of library bound editions ($22). I will continue looking elsewhere for new craft books.
Published August 2012 by Checkerboard Library (ABDO); Borrowed from another library in my consortium.