Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Crafty Chloe

Crafty Chloe

Kelly DiPucchio
Illustrator:  Heather Ross 
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Simon and Schuster, 2012   ISBN: 978-1442421233

Chloe is not very good at sports, and when it comes to dances lessons she has “the grace of a camel in roller skates.” There is one thing that she is good at though: Chloe is very good at making things. She can turn just about anything into a fantastic hand-made crafty creation, and she is really good at making clothes too.

When Chloe is invited to Emma’s birthday party, she goes to the store to buy her what she hopes will be the perfect gift. She is just about to get Emma the new Flower Girl doll when London walks up and says that she is buying Emma the doll. Not knowing what else to say, Chloe says that she is going to make Emma a gift instead of buying one. Unfortunately, London is the kind of girl who does not appreciate hand-made gifts, and she makes it clear that she thinks Chloe’s gift is going to be a disaster.

Though Chloe is so good at making things, in this instance she has no idea what to make for Emma. She gets so desperate that she even pretends that she is sick, for a while. Then Chloe’s mother mentions that Emma is going to have pony rides at her party. Chloe goes back to the drawing board, and then she gets to work. She has a present to make.

There used to be a time when many presents were hand-made, and they were appreciated not only because the gifts were pretty or useful, but because the givers had spent a certain amount of time making them. These days very few people have the time or the inclination to make home-made gifts, which is rather a shame.

In this excellent book, the author shows her young readers that a home-made gift is a precious thing, a one-of-a-kind present that is special because it was made with one person in mind. Through Chloe we see that people who make things with their hands put a part of themselves into what they make.