________________ CM . . . . Volume VII Number 21 . . . . June 22, 2001

cover Trim a Tree: 25 Christmas Ornaments You Can Make.

Allison Gertridge.
Markham, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2000.
28 pp., pbk., $6.99.
ISBN 0-439-98707-5.

Subject Headings:
Christmas tree ornaments-Juvenile literature.
Handicraft-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3 and up / Ages 8 and up.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

**** /4

image Even if you don't have a Christmas tree, you can make all the crafts in this book. Hang the ornaments around your house or give them away as gifts. Make some of the smaller, lighter ornaments and decorate your front door or bedroom door. Or make a construction paper tree for your refrigerator and attach your ornaments with glued-on magnets, available from most craft supply stores. Or you can organize a community tree at school.

      As the subtitle clearly indicates, Trim a Tree is a how-to craft book in which Gertridge provides directions for producing ornaments to adorn eight different theme oriented Christmas trees: Sweet, Old-fashioned, Pioneer, Pet, Friendship, Angel, Star and Outdoor Trees. Each "tree" section includes a full-page colour photograph which shows the various theme ornaments hanging on a tree. Each ornament is introduced by a listing of "Materials" which is followed by "How to make it" section of clear step-by-step construction instructions. Where "dangerous" steps and/or materials are involved, Gertridge utilizes a symbol to indicate that young crafters should seek adult assistance. Photographs and/or paintings are used to illustrate some of the possibly more difficult steps.

      The Sweet Tree's three adornments are all edible and involve candies or licorice as the main construction material. The Old-fashioned Tree is decorated with four different ornaments: sugar snowflakes, scented pillows, tinsel chains and ribbon angels. The Pioneer tree is covered with nonedible cinnamon shapes, sugared walnuts and twine balls. Children who have been wondering about what to give their pets for Christmas could produce the Pet Tree's styrofoam cat toy, Christmas dog biscuits and treat boxes. Adorning the Friendship Tree are a friendship bracelet ornament, a noodle frame and Christmas crackers. The Angel Tree has angels made from noodles, shells and "stained glass" while the Star Tree bears three different stars made from paper, bristol board and wrapping paper. Finally, those who do not want to "kill" a tree can decorate the living fir trees in their yards with nut stars, popcorn silhouettes and popcorn snowmen (and possibly feed some birds at the same time).

      Because the 25 ornaments vary in their level of construction difficulty, Trim a Tree can be utilized by a wide audience. Definitely a title that should be examined by leaders of youth groups such as Guides and Scouts.

Highly Recommended.

Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in children's and young adult 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