________________ CM . . . . Volume VI Number 18 . . . . May 12, 2000

cover Papier-Mâché. (Kids Can Do It Series).

Renee Schwarz.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2000.
40 pp., pbk. & cl., $5.95 (pbk.), $14.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-55074-727-4 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55074-833-5 (cl.).

Subject Heading:
Papier-mâché-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3 and up / Ages 8 and up.
Review by Dave Jenkinson.

**** /4


You can start right now and all it takes is some newspapers, flour and water! Papier-mâché is a craft anyone can do, to make just about anything. Simple or complicated, large or small, papier-mâché objects are layers of paper and paste that's all. Many things have been made from papier-mâché, from tiny, delicate jewelry to huge strong pieces of furniture and, at one time, even houses.

The projects in this book are useful and fun to make. Most take three or four days to finish, but you work only an hour or so a day. Use the ideas and techniques as guides to make whatever you want. You can transform and old box or container into some crazy papier-mâché creature.

image While users of Papier-Mâché may be tempted to turn directly to the instructions for making one of the book's 11 crafts, they would likely be well served by the five sections which occupy the first 11 pages of the book. There, they will first find a description of the supplies they will need as well as instructions on how to make "papier-mâché goo," the flour and water paste. "Getting Started" explains how to prepare your work space, how to tear your paper, apply your goo and layer strips. This section also offers other useful hints and tips, including how to deal with mistakes. "Painting and decorating" explains the various techniques which can be used to decorate the finished product.

Consistent with the "Kids Can Do It" format, each project provides a full-colour illustration of what the finished item may look like and a boxed "You will need" listing of items necessary for completing the project. Numbered and clear step-by-step instructions lead the crafter through the project, and visual learners are assisted by drawings of each of these steps.

All but one of the projects, the Fun Frog, have practical uses. No more must children's rooms be untidy for they can make a Giraffe pencil holder, Cat and Mouse bookends, a Lion magazine holder and a Handy hound to hold keys. Treasures can be stored in the Elephant or Alligator box while garbage can go into the Garbage gobbler. The room can be brightened by the Bug vase while future financiers can begin to build their fortunes in the Money munching fish. And for cleaning up their room, the children may then find some treats in the Bird bowl.

Recycling and art come together in Papier-Mâché, a book which belongs in school and public libraries as well as the personal libraries of adults working with youth groups such as Cubs and Guides.

Highly Recommended.

Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in children's and YA literature in the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.

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

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364