Creating with Fimo Acrylic Clay.
Libby Nicholson and Yvonne Lau. Illustrated by Tracy Walker.
Grades 4 and up / Ages 9 and up.
THIS BOOK IN THE "KIDS CAN CRAFT" series is wonderfully bright and eye-colourful, with every step in the creation of eye-catching jewellery illustrated in detail.
The introduction gives general information on the use of Fimo acrylic clay, including colours, tips on working with the clay, baking it, amounts needed, and tools and accessories needed for the projects. Each of the five chapters gives instructions in a different technique -- cookie cutting, stencil cutting, marbling, petal discing, and hand-building. There are at least three different projects described in each chapter, for a total of more than twenty-five. The illustrations and instructions are clear, and the lists of tools and clay amounts needed is precise.
The book lays the ground for successful projects, but obviously the quality of the results will also depend on the child's level of experience working with handicrafts and willingness to follow directions carefully. Although the authors do not state this book is intended primarily for girls, none of the projects are likely to appeal to most boys.
In the text of the book the authors do not mention the importance of adult assistance in buying supplies, finding the necessary tools (such as scissors, knitting needles, knives, and glue), or in supervising the baking process. Although there is a warning on the verso of the title page emphasizing the need for caution -- particularly with the baking process -- and recommending adult supervision, the omission of this advice from the main text is only flaw I found in Creating with Fimo Acrylic Clay. But it is an important one.
Recommended with reservations -- children using the techniques in this book should be supervised by an adult.
Luella Sumner is the Chief Librarian of the Red Rock Public Library in Red Rock, Ontario, where she has worked for twenty years.
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