Sunday, April 7, 2019

~ MMGM FOREST FAIRY CRAFTS ~



~ MARVELOUS MIDDLE-GRADE
MONDAY CRAFT BOOK FEATURE ~
-- 'FOREST FAIRY CRAFTS
THROUGH THE SEASONS:
MAKE 25 ENCHANTING FOREST FAIRIES,
GNOMES & MORE FROM SIMPLE SUPPLIES' --

AUTHORS: LENKA VODICKA-PAREDES
and ASIA CURRIE




ABOUT THE BOOK {from Goodreads}:
Sew a menagerie of felt fairies, gnomes, and forest friends from supplies you have on hand. 

Back with all-new projects approved by crafty kids, the best-selling authors of Forest Fairy Crafts teach kids how to stitch and personalize charming fairyland characters and toys. Make every season more fun when you adorn your friends with colorful felt, threads, yarn, buttons, sequins, and more. These 25 crafts appeal to boys, girls, and the young at heart!

FROM THE AUTHOR'S WEBSITE:

"Childhood is a journey to be enjoyed and celebrated. Slow down. Spend time together. Make things. Laugh. Build Fairy Houses. Sew. Create. Dream. Play. Imagine. Believe in magic." 
— Lenka Vodicka-Paredes

MY THOUGHTS:
Charming, clever, appealing, engaging, whimsical, and magical are words I would use to describe the projects in this book. I have not previously spent a lot of time thinking about fairies and their magical world of fantasy, but I certainly worked with a lot of students who loved this type of creative play and literature. Therefore, I was pleased to find this book on the non-fiction shelves in the local library's children's collection. 

The authors make a point of including boys and girls in their projects and in their narrative. Further, they encourage both genders to make fairies and gnomes of whichever gender they wish. They are very inclusive of diversity in skin tones, hair, and eye color, which I believe makes this book accessible, applicable, and appealing to all children. 

As  you may have noticed, I read and review a lot of children's craft and sewing books. I began drawing and making crafts, gifts, and doll accessories when I was even younger. I learned to sew by hand when I was around eight years old. 

When I read a craft or sewing book written for children I try to view it from a child's perspective and an adult's perspective. Does it teach good foundational skills? Is it fun and engaging? Are the projects appealing and attractive? Does the author stress safety? Are the materials easily sourced? I can enthusiastically answer 'yes' to each of these questions when I think about the contents of this book.

As I was reading this book I found the authors' feeling tone to be warm and welcoming and nurturing. These women have a child-centered attitude and it comes through in their narratives, instructions, and project designs. I give them a lot of credit for encouraging readers to use their imagination and to be patient with themselves when learning these new sewing skills.

The first almost 50 pages are dedicated to blurbs about materials, tools, sewing lessons, and making a basic fairy family. The authors use a unique system of teaching several sewing stitches by naming the particular stitch after an animal. For example, the running stitch is called the DOLPHIN Running Stitch because a dolphin jumps in and out of the water the same as the threaded needle pierces the fabric. What a great memory tool for children to cement the stitch into their minds.

Another page is dedicated to 'Fixing Mistakes' such as tangled thread, loose buttons, and scrunching. The first sentence on this page, 23, reads, "All crafters make mistakes, even grown-ups!" A great encouragement for new sewers which empowers them to give sewing a try. I love it!

The projects are divided into four chapters each named for one of the seasons. At the beginning of each chapter a blurb tells about what typically happens in the garden or in nature during that particular season. A suggested color palette is presented, and then a few fairies, gnomes, and themed-accessories are included with stepped-out instructions including a material list, finished size, and project difficulty rating, lovely photos, and side bars with 'creative ideas'.

My favorite projects in the book include the Fairy Baby, Bride and Groom Fairies with instructions for how to make a wedding cake topper, Lavender-Scented Mouse, and Chubby Critters--a Cat and a Fox. There are even three winter ornaments which could be made to decorate a tree or home. 

The back matter includes a thorough essay entitled, 'Notes for Adults:  Tips and Tricks for Crafting with Children', which includes tips for how to begin at the beginning with teaching children how to sew. There are several pages of blackline patterns for the projects in the book.

🌟 This is one of the best children's craft books I have read in the past several years!

Highly recommended to parents/grandparents, scout/youth/4-H/camp/daycare leaders, middle-graders/tweens/teens who want to learn to sew, and adults who want to review or fine-tune their own hand-sewing skills by making adorable gifts for youngsters.

**************** 
Learn about more great middle-grade reads by visiting Greg Pattridge's 'Always in the Middle' blog to find the links to other blog posts celebrating Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday!


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6 comments:

  1. Thanks for the heads-up on this one. It would make a great gift for a child who might have a little extra time for craft making in the coming summer months.

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  2. This must be good if you think it's one of the best. I actually think about fairies and magical creatures all the time for my fantasy novels. I may like this one.

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  3. I know a 10-year-old who would really enjoy this book. Creating your own world with fairies sounds magical and fun. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. I just love craft books for kids. This one sounds terrific. Thanks for telling me about it.

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  5. Craft books are great! Thanks for telling us about this one.

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  6. Oh my goodness. These crafts look adorable. The cover of the book pulled me right in and I want to start making these crafts. Thanks for sharing this one with us!
    ~Jess

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