________________ CM . . . . Volume IV Number 8 . . . . December 12, 1997

cover Christmas Crafts With Crayola Model Magic.

Kim Fernandes. Photography by Wally Randall.
Richmond Hill, ON: Scholastic Canada, 1997.
32pp., paper, $11.99.
ISBN 0-590-12427-7

Subject Headings:
Christmas decorations-Juvenile literature.
Handicraft-Juvenile literature.
Modeling-Juvenile literature.

Grades 1 - 6 / Ages 6 - 11.
Review by Dave Jenkinson.

*** /4

image The three-dimensional illustrations of Kim Fernandes are likely known to most enthusiasts of Canadian children's picturebooks. In Christmas Crafts, Fernandez turns her considerable skills to producing some 16 Christmas related crafts using "Crayola Model Magic," a light-weight commercial product which air-dries in about 24 hours. The slim book begins with a "Helpful Hints" page which, in addition to providing a chart which explains how to mix the existing Model Magic colours to make new shades, includes the caution that the modelling medium may stain clothing and other surfaces. A following page provides "Tools and Techniques" for working with Model Magic. Each double page provides a listing of materials and step by step instructions for completing one or two projects. Coloured drawings complement the instructions while photographs illustrate the finished products. The projects' level of difficulty ranges from the very simple, such as tree ornaments that are simply cut out with cookie cutters, to the more challenging characters which are modelled around cardboard tubes or the figures developed from the corner of a cardboard box. In a few instances, the photographs include other crafts for which the instructions are not provided. For example, the photo accompanying "Slim Santa" also includes a reindeer,and all young modellers will not likely make the necessary generalizations in technique. Because Fernandes is a professional, her "products" look terrific, but the last page, which illustrates crafts completed by children from an elementary school, does demonstrate that the book's intended audience can truly create impressive items.

      Note that the book is packaged with two 28g pouches of Model Magic, each of a different colour. As many of the finished projects illustrate a greater variety of colours, users first stop, after purchasing the book, may need to be a toy or craft store. For those experiencing difficulty in finding a vendor, an 800 number is provided.

      Not likely a book that will be purchased by public libraries, Christmas Crafts should definitely, however, be considered by parents as well as those adults who are working with youth groups like Cubs and Brownies.

Recommended with reservations.

As a Cub leader, Dave Jenkinson was constantly on the outlook for new craft books.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © 1997 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364