Sneaky Art: Crafty Surprises to Hide in Plain Sight, by Marthe Jocelyn, RL : ALL AGES

First, I fell in love with SNEAKY ART: Crafty Surprises to Hide in Plain Sight by Marthe Jocelyn. Then, when I sat down to write this review, I realized (dramatic gasp) that Marthe Jocelyn is the author of one of my favorite books, Mabel Riley: A Reliable Record of Humdrum, Peril and Romance, which, to use a completely reductionist shorthand, a historical companion to Anne of Green Gables, being set in Canada in 1901. Mabel is every bit as expressive, intelligent, brave and boisterous as Anne Shirley and, coming of age in the era of great societal shifts around women's rights, very interesting. 

SNEAKY ART: Crafty Surprises to Hide in Plain Sight is not your average craft book in more ways than one. The subtitle, Crafty Surprises to Hide in Plain Sight refers to temporary art for public places. The spirit of the projects in this book, most of which call for things you probably already have around the house, from sticky notes to magazines to pennies, pipe cleaners and empty juice boxes, is to leave these little creations in public places for people to find and hopefully get a smile from. But, because of the nature of the crafts and the supplies they call for, this is the PERFECT rainy day book and many of the projects can be completed by kids as young as three or four. Marthe introduces her book and the concept of sneaky art by saying, "We all like surprises, don't we? Getting and giving them. This book is a how-to manual for making art projects from easily found materials. The surprise comes from where you put your creation." She goes on to remind the reader that sneaky art is NOT, "mean, defacing, ugly, hurtful, messy or permanent. Sneaky art is NOT marking up someone else's property." It is, "funny, clever, thoughtful, temporary, subversive, playful and surprising." After flipping through a few pages, I was already envisioning a craft-session followed by a trip to the park or the beach to plant our sneaky art, sit back and watch people react to it.

I had a tough time finding images from the book to share with you. There is a downloadable PDF of Sample Projects on the Candlewick Press website, but my favorite craft isn't among them. So, you are going to have to bear with me while I describe it. FORTUNE COOKIES is such a brilliant, easy, quick craft I can't wait to make. You take cupcake papers, the more colorful the better, and fold them in half then put a tuck in the middle to make it look like a fortune cookie, insert the fortune and glue the edges. 

I have always loved tiny things, and there are quite a few crafts in SNEAKY ART: Crafty Surprises to Hide in Plain Sight to make me happy! Cork Critters and Sink Boats and matchboxes turned into tiny little beds are a few fun things I can't wait to try. There is also a craft for making tiny little pennant garlands to tuck away in funny places like lunch boxes, picnic baskets, the refrigerator, using wrapping paper and dental floss or, even little images of clothing cut out of magazines for a tiny clothes line. 

But, I haven't even touched on the silly, funny surprise crafts. Paper Plate Peekers are funny faces cut from magazines and recreated on plates that you hide in surprising places. POST A POEM uses sticky notes, stamps and magazine clippings to make a poem using several notes that can be mixed and matched and left in various places. LIBRARY SHOUTS are another great idea, but if I go on like this then you won't have much reason to buy this book, which you REALLY REALLY SHOULD! It's only $12.99 (or less) and is PERFECT for play dates and parties and anytime you want to do something fun with your kids or just keep them busy!

Source: Review Copy

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