CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 1. . . .September 6, 2013
The Duct Tape Book: 25 Projects to Make with Duct Tape.
Richmond Hill, ON: Firefly Books, 2012.
144 pp., trade pbk., $14.95.
Grades 5-9 / Ages 10-14.
Review by Betsy Fraser.
Recapture your lost youth and become the envy of your lunch mates with this vibrant, lightweight, spill-proof lunch tote. If you’re the imaginative type, you’ll want to try to making the handle and the strap from different colors or patterns.
The projects presented in Jolie Dobson’s The Duct Tape Book range from tabletop adornments to full-out clothing and accessories. In all cases, an older teenager is shown with or modeling the final product in photographs meant to show that the effort involved in turning tape into useable, craft-worthy duct tape “sheets” will, in turn, provide an attractive result. That this will depend on following the directions in the book, buying the correct materials and, if necessary, seeking some guidance for those who aren’t actually that good with their hands, should not detract from the appeal of this book.
The introduction to The Duct Tape Book starts with a reference to Red Green, someone who may not actually be that familiar to the target audience, before providing readers with a history of duct tape and an assurance that the multi-colours that they will see in the photographs may be found in stores or online. This is true; Michaels carries a wide variety of neon and patterned tapes. The introduction then proceeds to the tools that the crafters should have and the basic guidelines for creating the duct tape sheets that will be used for the majority of the projects, as well as instructions for how to make straps, and how to tape straight and curved edges, before presenting the projects.
The projects are decidedly more aimed at girls, including a few varieties of bags, and a skirt. Even the luggage tag is presented with a penguin-shaped stencil that renders it somewhat less masculine, although admittedly the patterns available for the tape could allow for some play with the hat, phone holder, lunch bag, or backpack patterns. Doing so will allow for adapting some of these patterns as gender-neutral gifts. The Duct Tape Book will find a home in both school and public libraries where it will have a broad appeal with creative kids and teens.
Betsy Fraser is a Selector with the Calgary Public Library system.
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