A noteworthy review of Holiday Crafts from Children's Bookwatch on January 1, 2017
‘Christmas Crafts’ is a title from the outstanding Holiday Crafts book series from The Child’s World and specifically intended for children age 7 and up. Following a brief introduction to the Christmas holiday and its 2,000 year history, there are brightly illustrated simple instructions for five separate Christmas craft creations, using easily available materials, supplies, and accessories. First is a delightful Sock Snowman, made of repurposed socks, rubber bands, rice, string, fabric, glue, and buttons. It can be made either with white socks or a fun holiday colored pair of socks. The second project is a Christmas Tree Garland for either the tree or other decorative draping, made of colored cupcake liners, glue, decorations (glitter, sequins), twine, and using a hole punch. This fun craft activity allows for lots of creativity in its execution. Another craft activity is a Christmas Wreath, made of green and red construction paper, using a ruler, pencil, scissors, stapler, and glue, this project may require a bit of adult supervision in construction, but it results in a beautiful finished Christmas Wreath with very little complicated effort. The two final projects are a Clothespin Nutcracker, made of construction paper, tape, paint, markers, clothespins and popsicle sticks, and a Toilet Paper Roll Ornament, made of a toilet paper roll, red and white construction paper, a white cotton ball, and using glue, scissors, twine, and black marker. Both these last two projects benefit from a bit of experienced supervision, but are basically completed in simple steps, with accompanying diagrams and instructions. After creating each of the Christmas Crafts, the young reader has a colorful glossary of terms, suggestions for further reading, and web site links available at childsworld.com/links. ‘Christmas Crafts’ is a delightful collection of accessible holiday craft projects that will be easy and inexpensive to make, while providing kids with meaningful hands on creative craft experiences. Additional titles from the Holiday Crafts series that are also highly recommended include: ‘Thanksgiving Crafts’ (9781503808218, $28.50) by Annette Gulati, ‘St. Patrick’s Day Crafts’ (9781503808188, $28.50), by Ann Malaspina, ’Valentine’s Day Crafts’ (9781503808225, $28.50), by Claire Mathiowetz, ‘Birthday Crafts’ (9781503808157, $28.50), by Trudi Strain Trueit, ‘Easter Crafts’ (9781503808171, $28.50), by Anita Yasuda, ‘Halloween Crafts’ (9781503808201, $28.50), by Anita Yasuda, and ’Mother’s Day Crafts’ (9781503808195, $28.50), by Trudi Strain Strait. All the Holiday Crafts titles are creatively illustrated by Mernie Gallagher-Cole.
—James A. Cox