A Review of "Earth-Friendly Projects" in Children's Bookwatch
‘Build a Neighborhood Library’ is an intriguing title from the Earth Friendly Projects series for elementary age children, to make with adult supervision or assistance. The book begins by exploring the different kinds and sizes of libraries, with an introduction From Trees to Paper to Books, that points out the impact of books on the environment and ways the publishers and others are seeking to counteract this. Just using a library is one good way of helping the environment. A suggestion to be explored is the concept of building a neighborhood library, such as those called the Little Free Libraries. People can start by creating a simple wooden box with a hinged door to hold donated books that can be borrowed and circulated for free. Planning suggestions and instructions and materials for creating the little library box are included. Building skills include woodworking skills, using a hammer, nails, glue, paint, screws, hinges, and installing a hook and eye set. Although simple instructions and illustrations are clear, adult supervision is encouraged whenever needed. After the project is finished, ways of collecting books to stock it are also listed in the side bar labeled Stocking Up. Other informative sidebars give helpful tips or creative ideas for embellishing or finishing the project. ‘Build a Neighborhood Library’ is finished with a glossary and list of other related helpful resources. For an excellent earth friendly project of a manageable size, ‘Build a Neighborhood Library’ offers kids an inviting activity with long lasting rewards. Other titles in the Earth Friendly Projects series that are also highly recommended include: ‘Build a Weather Station (9781503807891),’ by Carol Hand, ‘Build a Solar Cooker’ (9781503807884), by Samantha S. Bell, ‘Build a Rain Barrel’ (9781503807877), by Sally McGraw, ‘Build a Flytrap’ (9781503807860), by Samantha S. Bell, ‘Build a Compost Tumbler’ (9781503807853), by Tracy Abell, ‘Build a Compact Garden’ (9781503807846), by Samantha S. Bell, and ‘Build a Birdhouse’ (9781503807839), by Mirella S. Miller. All hardcover volumes of the Earth Friendly Projects series are illustrated clearly and in color by Roger Stewart.
—James A. Cox