I am SO in LOVE with The Paper Playhouse: Awesome Art Projects for Kids Using Paper, Boxes and Books by Katrina Rodbaugh for SO many reasons. The only thing I don't like about it is that it did not exist 10 years ago when my kids were little and would have loved the projects inside. First, though, I have to commend publisher Quarry Books, creators of "high-end, beautifully designed, visual inspiration and reference books on art, crafts, foods" and more. I have read and reviewed several of their books for children and they are all consistently wonderfully produced and packed with fantastic projects and information.
Before I talk about the fantastic projects in The Paper Playhouse: Awesome Art Projects for Kids Using Paper, Boxes and Books, I want to talk about the penultimate chapter of the book, Gallery: Artists as Inspiration where Rodabaugh features artists who all use paper, books or boxes to make art. By sharing a bit about their art, Rodabaugh hopes to inspire readers to "see the possibilities in these ordinary materials and maybe even encourage you to broaden your definition of what art can be." How can you not love an art & craft book that educates and encourages kids to explore their creativity and be inspired by other artists?
Rodabaugh divides The Paper Playhouse into for parts, the first three covering projects using paper, books and boxes. One thing I especially love about The Paper Playhouse is the way that Rodabaugh's projects use found items like junk mail, file folders, magazines, greeting cards, calendars, old library books, shoe boxes, cereal boxes and other reusable containers.
Another thing I love about The Paper Playhouse is that the projects are very, very doable. I am a pretty handy with an X-acto knife and a hot glue gun, but I have found myself frustrated by my inability to make my creations look like those in the well-staged, visually appealing photos in the books & magazines (like a certain craft maven with the initials MS....)
There are paper play houses to be made in The Paper Playhouse, both large and small, and much more. Projects, like garlands, mobiles, mini-books, a Volkswagen Bus Box and a birdhouse bungalow have excellent step-by-step instructions with step-by-step photographs (and a photo of the supplies needed) along with very clear text instructions to follow. Of course this is a book that requires parental involvement, but this is also a book that is so fun you will enjoy every second of creating with your kids.
Source: Review Copy