Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Make It!

Make It!

Jane Bull
Photographer: Andy Crawford
Nonfiction Craft Book
For ages 6 to 10
Dorling Kindersley, 2008   ISBN: 978-0756638375

Many children (and adults) love to make things with their hands. We spend a great deal of time and money in craft stores looking for and buying crafting supplies. We don’t even consider looking in the trash can or the recycling bin to find things that could be turned into all kinds of artsy crafty things. This is a mistake, because old bottles, old clothes, cans, plastic bags, paper, milk cartons, and so many other things that would normally get thrown away can all be used to create unique crafts.

This clever book shows people of all ages how they can turn trash into treasure. The author begins by explaining what the 3 “Rs” of recycling are. She then goes on to explain that it is important to “know your stuff.” In other words, understand what your “trash” “stuff” is made out of, and how to sort and use it.

After this introduction, we move onto the projects that can be made out of used paper products. With a few clever folds, you can make a paper basket or a paper plane. With paper pieces and homemade paste, you can create a veritable plethora of papier mache creations.

Next, there are projects that are made using plastic objects such as old toys, bottle tops, clothes pegs, dried out markers, bottles, bubble wrap, and candy wrappers. This section is followed by chapters that show young people how to make things out of metal, and how to create wonderful things using fabric (at last you can use up all those orphan mittens, gloves, and socks).

Each project section (paper, plastic, metal, and fabric) has an informative introductory page that explains, among other things, how the material is made, how it can be recycled, and how best to use it.

As they look through this book, young crafters will be delighted to discover that items thrown into the trash and into the recycling bin can be turned into so many creative and eye-catching decorations, accessories, containers, and works of art. With wonderful full-color photographs throughout the book, easy-to-follow directions, and excellent information, this book is a must for every home and school library.