Monday, September 9, 2013

Nonfiction Monday: Fun with nature by Annalees Lim

I keep looking for new craft books, but somehow I can never quite find the exactly perfect one I'm looking for. This is one of the most recent titles I bought and it's ok, but not perfect.

The book starts with some simple instructions - always ask a grown-up for help, get inspiration outside, and the tools you will need, paint, paper, clay, glue, and scissors.

There are nine projects and they are mostly what I think of as "decorative" crafts. Creating a mini greenhouse out of a plastic bottle, leaf and seashell prints, pinecone hedgehogs, dried flower picture, paper tree, stone painting, collage with leaves, and a nature crown. The book ends with a page that includes a brief glossary, index, and a link to the publisher's website for more resources.

The instructions include general directions, but the pictures are really specific so I don't think many kids or parents will try to make anything other actually pictured, at least not in my rules-are-all-important town. It seems like there isn't anything here that kids couldn't think of on their own, but, in my experience, kids are getting less and less creative so maybe this will spark a little imagination and outdoor play. The pictures are very cute and the book has been circulating well, but I would have liked something a little more open-ended and longer.

Verdict: It's only available in paperback or library bound and 9 projects are in no way worth $20 in my opinion. However, the paperback is very thin and flimsy-looking, so unless you really need more craft books (which I do) I'd just pass on this one.

ISBN: 9781477701904; Published 2013 by Windmill Books; Purchased for the library


Book Bandit said...

"Kids are getting less creative." Oh, no! That's a frightening thought. You haven't noticed them channeling their creativity into the computer and online production? I'm curious to hear how things are in the children's public library sphere, since I work as a high school librarian. BTW, I love your blog!

Jennifer said...

What I see more and more, especially in elementary-aged kids, is a lack of initiative or willingness to try anything. They just sit and wait for instructions and want pictures of "how it's supposed to be" then, of course, get frustrated when their craft doesn't look exactly "right." I think some of this is due to my town, which is big on "rules" and "how things are done" but some of it I can't help but think must be coming from the way they're taught in school and trained to wait for instructions and do exactly what they're told, no leeway given for creative exploration. I couldn't say about the technology area, since I don't have any way to do programs with that, but from what I've observed on the public computers the same holds true. There just aren't many kids willing to try things without a lot of prodding and "it's ok, do it however you want" reminders.